Blog Archive
21st February 2012


Today (Wednesday 22nd February), Iarnród Éireann hosts a major seminar - Rail Vision 2030, The future of Rail Transport in Ireland.

Speakers include the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar TD, the Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann, Dick Fearn, the Chief Executive of National Transport Authority Gerry Murphy, and Bernard Feeney of AECOM presenting a major study on Strategic Rail Investment Needs up to 2030.  Invited guests representing stakeholders including rail customers (both passenger and freight); from business and industry; from tourism and hospitality; and from local and national government will attend.

A full live stream of the event will be available here from 08.30hrs. (EVENT NOW OVER)

The schedule for the morning is:

08:30hrs: Welcome and Introduction, Mr. Phil Gaffney, Chairman, Iarnród Éireann

08:35 – 08:50: Keynote Address, Dr. Leo Varadkar T.D. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport

08:50 – 09:20: The Context for Rail Vision 2030, Mr. Dick Fearn, Chief Executive, Iarnród Éireann

09:20 – 09:50: Rail Vision 2030 - Overview of Strategic Rail Investment Needs, Mr. Bernard Feeney, Director, Economics and Transportation, AECOM

09:50 – 10:20: Rail Investment in the Greater Dublin Area and developing the national rail service offering, Mr. Gerry Murphy, Chief Executive, National Transport Authority

10:20 – 10:40: Break

10:40 – 11:30: Panel discussion on the future of rail transport in Ireland. Chaired by Professor Austin Smyth, featuring

Mr. Michael Reidy, Manager Strategic and Business Planning, Iarnród Éireann

Ms. Derval Cummins, Ernst & Young transport business

Dr. Edgar Morgenroth, Associate Research Professor and programme co-ordinator for research on transport and infrastructure at the ESRI.

Ms. Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst with the Western Development Commission

Mr. Alan O’Brien, Regional Director of Transportation with AECOM.


Whether you're following the event live or not, please let us know your views on the future direction of rail transport in Ireland by commenting below.






2012-02-21 at 8:58am

Bernard Goldbach says:

When will Irish Rail suburban services operate without drivers? The line is certainly safe enough and the technology is aboard cars driving on California freeways today.

2012-02-21 at 11:24am

David Benjamin says:

How many more rail lines are CIE/IE going to be allowed to close before somebody shout stop?

2012-02-21 at 11:39am

Fergal says:

Dublin Coach Monasterevin to Naas on the hour 24/7
€4 return

Irish Rail same journey 5 services monday-friday from Monasterevin(2 require change of train) but none between 7.45am and 8.12pm
€14.70 Open return

2012-02-21 at 1:51pm

Informed says:

This so-called "study" is Void as there was no Public Consultation.

It is extremely poor in any case, with very little understanding of the real purpose and value of Rail transport, and a bizarre lack of reference to the role of Rail in cutting carbon emissions from transport.

2012-02-21 at 3:41pm

Railway Lines blog says:

Thanks for your comments.

Bernard, we have no plans for driverless trains.

David, in recent years we have suspended services on one route, Waterford-Rosslare. However, we've reopened three lines - Glounthaune to Midleton, Clonsilla to Dunboyne/M3 and Ennis to Athenry. We've also built the line to Docklands Station.

Fergal, sorry the schedule doesn't suit your travel needs - however, the vast majority of our demand on commuter routes is to and from Dublin, and schedules are developed accordingly.

Informed, the methodology of the report is set out on page 2 of the main report and there was extensive analysis of demand current and projected, and travel patterns. The purpose of rail transport as detailed in the study is "to provide safe, accessible and integrated rail services that contribute to sustainable economic and regional development in an efficient manner."

Also, in chapter 10 (Appraisal of options) the report very specifically mentions reductions in emissions as

2012-02-21 at 3:44pm

Railway Lines blog says:

...part of its assessment in valuing costs and benefits, as well as other environmental benefits.

2012-02-21 at 4:33pm

Mick says:

You might have more customers if your newly revamped website actually allowed people to book return journeys. Last time I tried an obvious flaw in your system prevented me booking my journey, one which I used to take on a regular basis. Nobody from customer services bothered to reply to my email. I got the bus instead, and I'll be doing so from now on. It's nearly as fast, cheaper, just as comfortable, and I don't have to jump through the new hoops Irish Rail keep putting in my way.

2012-02-21 at 10:25pm

Gar says:

Would love to see much more attractive pricing for off peak suburban services. These trains carry few passangers mainly due to the high prices. It is the same price for most IE suburban train journeys in the peak and off-peak. LEAP tickets could easily be upgraded to faciliate this. Also most European cities I have visited, charge different fares to peak time passengers,especially pre 9.30am.
Here's a thought...increase peak time fares by 10%...reduce off peak fares by 25%...IE would probably end up with the same revenue, if not more. And off-peak empty trains would have additional customers, at zero extra cost. However, IE would need to address the significant service gaps in Saturday and Sunday services, as that is the main reason people will not use off-peak services, certainly on the Northern suburban me it all sounds like common sense, and while trying not to be negative, it will probably not see the light of day...rant over!

2012-02-21 at 10:46pm

Informed says:

Many thanks for your kind reply, Railway Lines. It is a great pity that transport consultants, policy-makers and even some working in the Rail Industry have bought into the false idea that Rail must "compete" with unsustainable high-speed road transport, and also bus transport. Yes, driving can sometimes be faster than taking the train - but at very high cost, when oil consumption, emissions, and numerous other external costs are taken into account. And, there are so many people who don't drive, and so for them, road journey times are irrelevant.
Buses serve a different market than Rail so are also largely irrelevant. This is not to knock buses of course! They have a role to play too.
As a society, we need to stop abusing our National Rail Network. This is not directed at you of course Railway Lines, but the ongoing reduction in the CIE subvention is scandalous. And it is ideological - it has nothing to do with the current financial situation.
IE does an excellent job with the resou

2012-02-21 at 10:49pm

Andy Moore says:

I travelled from Dalkey to Malahide & back with your marvellous leap card .But on the journey I noted a lot of stations getting a paint job ! nothing wrong with that but colour of choice seemed a Battle-ship grey I would have thought a brighter colour or more individualistic colour scheme might be utilised ?? After the series by Portillo on BBC 2 recently a rush of railway tourists shall arrive why not capitalise on this & also I am a firm believer that bright inclusive artwork upon our platforms acts as a tonic to the weary commuter ??

2012-02-21 at 11:16pm

Andy Moore says:

I would have thought that accountants & railways make quare bedfellows ?? a public service needs accountancy alright but not the eager eyes of surplus profit .Great idea having the blog anyway ? you should introduce friendship & loyalty schemes as well . You could probably pick up a few quid from railside advertisers as well ? .Something to keep in mind ! also a map of old rail lines & links to excellent documentaries by TG4 & BBC 2 would probably increase your viability !
Signed a long time lover of Irish Railways
Andy Moore

2012-02-21 at 1:03pm

James says:

What plans does Iarnrod Eireann have for much faster train speeds?
I'm not even talking about Continental-style hi-speed, but even something like 125 mph?
The Western Corridor represented a wonderful opportunity for a really fast service which everyone would want to use.

2012-02-21 at 1:08pm

James says:

Can anything be done to improve the customer experience at Connolly Mainline?
Its a soul-less place with no proper restaurant serving good food. All we've got are the couple of places serving 'coronary thrombosis' junk food and a dark, miserable pub. The same goes for the fare on the trains - trolley loads of junk food. There's no place for the weary traveller to get some nice lunch or even basic tea and toast.

2012-02-21 at 4:15pm

Stephen Judge says:

Can you please make the video from this seminar availbale to view online. This looks like it was an interesting seminar and I would very much like to watch the video from it. I would be very disappointed if the video from the seminar was only streamed live and was not also recorded for later playback. There are plenty of services online, both free and paid for, that offer the ability to stream live video whilst also storing the video for later playback. The most obvious choice would be Livestream ( or UStream ( Surely one of the organisers thought of this.

There is little point advertising a live stream on a very under subscribed blog (oh wait, you can't actually subscribe to this blog, it has no RSS/Atom Feed) without living the video up for later broadcasting.

2012-02-21 at 1:05pm

Joe says:

Time to open up the market. Leave Irish Rail responsible/ownership for the rail network, ticketing and rolling stock.
Hire in private contractors to operate the service as in the Luas. 5 year contracts. Cost will drop, prices will drop (today prices are shockingly high) more people will travel. I work on the trains in Sweden (a deregulated market) its by no means perfect, punctuality 85% (mainly due to too many trains) but its cheap and planned connections with buses etc
When you're going always think public transport first

2012-02-21 at 4:46pm

Joe says:

I'd also like to add, that what is needed in rail development is a sort of reverse many countries, rail development is dependant on projected economic development, so rail is implemented to meet the growing needs of the surrounding developing economy, cart before the horse. Here in Sweden they are doing the reverse, opening new stations and building/reopening new lines in areas both with and without great economic prospects. The results are great. The railway has a fantastic draw.

2012-02-21 at 1:59pm

Clare says:

I live in Clongriffin and I am baffled by why so many commuter trains pass through the station, slow down but do not actually stop.
If I want to travel to Rush & Lusk (which is 4 stops away) the journey time should be 17 minutes. Instead it can take up to 2 hours (see because the trains servicing this station almost never stop in Clongriffin. Why??? They routinely stop at every other station between Howth Junction and Balbriggan, with the sole exception of Clongriffin!!!
Please tell me that this policy of the Dublin-Belfast trains ignoring Clongriffin is under review? The station is open 3 years now and it is incredibly fustrating to have a lovely new station, just to watch the trains run through it but not stop for actual passengers.
Kind regards.

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