Irish Rail Presentation and Q&A 17/06/09

AuthorMessage DateMessage
Danny Keleher20/06/2009Just a few thoughts about the Irish Rail presentation and Q&A session last Wednesday, the 17th of June, 2009.

Irish Rail confirmed that the Inchicore Station will be part of the Railway Order Application and it will be open from Day 1. I feel this was an excellent result. The previous proposal back in April was only for a "future station". In my view, the Inchicore Station at the location specified by Irish Rail will be of huge benefit to the communities of Inchicore and Lower Ballyfermot (which recently missed out on a Luas Line).

At the meeting, Irish Rail presented 5 options which they had considered for the station and tunnel works in Inchicore and they indicated which option was the one chosen for the Railway Order Application. They indicated why they chose this option and why they rejected the other 4 options. Based on the information presented, it appears to me that Irish Rail have made the right choice. According to Irish Rail, if tunneling was moved further west into the CIE Works, this would be too risky for the houses on Geroge's Villas. The reason given is that the Irish Rail engineering advice is that using a tunnel boring machine in the immediate vicinity of George's Villas would be to risky for those houses, whereas the cut and cover approach does not carry the same risks. Indeed, the other 4 options were rejected because they would involve demolition of the houses on Goerge's Villas and/or Landen Road and demolition of historical buildings in the CIE works. The option chosen does not require demolition of any houses or historical buildings and provides a station that is convenient to Inchicore and Lower Ballyfermot.
Jo Homewood20/06/2009The reason that IR was giving for not putting the portal inside the Industrial Site is because they would then have to do the tie in further down the track. As far as I can see, they came up with no good reasons why the portal works could not be inside the Industrial Site and not in the midst of homes.
Danny Keleher20/06/2009Hi Jo, The tie-in is one aspect that they mentioned. At the meeting, in response to a question from me during the Q&A session, Irish Rail comfirmed that moving the portal works further west into the CIE Works would require tunneling (with a tunnel boring machine) in the vicinity of the houses on George's Villas and that this would pose an unacceptable risk to those houses. They are saying that adopting the 'cut and cover' approch provides a safe alternative as regards safeguarding the structural integrity of the houses on Geroge's Villas.

I'm sure there will be a further meeting in which more details will be provided.

A big result achieved at the meeting was that Irish Rail have made it clear that they will provide answers to everybody who contacts them and provide all the information as soon as they have it available.
Jo Homewood20/06/2009IR have always had to provide anwers to any questions put to them. There is not enough geological evidence at the moment to support the proposition that tunnelling is more risky. Any geological evidence that is eventually produced by IR will be subject to independent scrutiny. There is just not enough evidence at the moment to support your assertion. Every possibility needs to be properly explored and tested, and scrutinised. Only then will we know what the options truly are.
Danny Keleher21/06/2009Hi Jo, All of the geological findings will, I'm sure, be robustly scrutinised in due course. I wasn't by any means saying that the presentation of the 17th June is the end of the matter. All I meant was that based on what Irish Rail have presented so far, it looks like the right choice has been made as regards the 5 options presented.

By way of a general comment, I felt it was a rather lengthy session as it didn't finish until 11:45pm !! Perhaps the next presentation could take place on a Saturday, just a suggestion..
Paul Cullen22/06/2009Danny,
It sounds like you were at a different meeting from everyone else. You're accepting a whole series of premises from IR on their word and their evaluation, even before the they've completed the technical evaluation themselves. First, you accept their change away from Heuston. Second, you accept their route line to Inchicore. Third, you accept their choice of portal, based on an evaluation of quite narrow options.

You then go on to accept their arguments against moving further west, which seem to change depending on who they are talking to.

I'm not in any way pre-judging this issue, but last week's meeting was about getting information, and the main information we got was that hardly any of the important information has been collected or collated yet. So the basis for making a firm call on this isn't there yet.

Railway engineering, like anything else, is the art of the possible. If IR wants to save money by building a portal and station only on their own land, and they can get away with it, they'll do this. But if they can be "persuaded" that the path of least resistance involves CPOing a few warehouses out the back of the Works, then they are as likely to go that way.
John Farrelly22/06/2009I think its important that people think of other districts and not just their own. If you look at it logically...starting the tunnel at Hueston would be disruptive to a lot of other Rail Services, now mayby they should have thought of this before building where Clancy Quay is as it may have been a good site for an entrance but its done now so not a lot we can do. Unfortunately I couldn't make the meeting but did anyone suggest altering the station to nearer the Village any maybe putting it under ground as the access to the station where is it currently positioned will be poor.
Markn22/06/2009The position of the Station is just one element of this plan that was presented by Irish Rail as a "done deal". They were informing us of their plans, not asking for advice. It is vital that those affected by this plan get independent advice on the plans as outlined by Irish Rail. The scale of the work planned is huge and the potential disruption and damage to the community vast. I'm not being alarmist. We cannot simply take Irish Rail's word for it that this is the only way to proceed. When questioned on the viability of other options the answers were vague and incomplete. Leaving you to wonder how seriously they had been considered. After five years of detailed planning on the original route they formulated the Inchicore move in just a couple of months. Can they really have examined all the options thoroughly?

Danny Keleher23/06/2009Hi Paul,

Just to clairfy, all I was meant was that, so far as the 5 options presented by Irish Rail for the project in the vicinity of the Inchicore Works are concerned, it appears to me that Irish Rail made a compelling case for the option they selected out of those 5 options.

I agree with you that the details are sparse. I have no doubt that the details will follow and be investigated by all interested parties and at that time firm conclusions can be made.
Local Resident24/06/2009I'm glad that the portal is no longer being planned to be built at Heuston. This would have caused chaos to road and rail traffic in the vicinity of Heuston. Doing it in the land owned by CIE in inchicore makes sense. The other advantage is that us inchicore residents get our own train station. CIE's plan of putting the train station in the CIE lands is better than putting it right in the middle of the village. There would be chaos to traffic, residents and businesses of the village if an underground station was built right in the middle of the village.
John Farrelly24/06/2009While i respect your views "local resident" short term concerns like causing traffic chaos near the Village should not deter from putting a station in the best place possible...for all local residents.
Alan C24/06/2009I agree with you John, all of the other stations are underground and in built up areas (most of them more built up than inchicore village) and the concerns about traffic and disruption have been dealt with as they can be for inchicore.
Inface Inchicore is one of the easier areas to manage this in comparison to say christchurch and Heuston (which is getting an underground station and without any disruption!)

Also being underground there would be no loss of green space.

There is simply no excuse for bad planning on such a huge infrastructure project and there is no reason why Inchicore can not have the same standard of underground station as the other locations.

A station in the village would be a huge boost to the whole area.
A badly planned station could end up being a huge scar on the whole area and leave Inchicore as a second-rate location in comparison to the other station locations.

As for the concerns of 'local resident' this project, if planned correctly, will be of huge benefit to traffic in the village and could also help improve our green space so I just can not share our concerns.
Danny Keleher25/06/2009Hi John and Alan C, just in case you missed the Irish Rail presentation meeting of the 17th June, I can tell you that a station in the village was not one of the 5 options that Irish Rail presented.
John Farrelly26/06/2009I did miss the presentation on the 17th but I didnt really think that IR were going to tell people that one of the options was in the Village but we have decided to go with the land we own cause its cheaper and easier to do. My suggestions as I think is Alans is to use the area around Grattan Park for the station, yes it would cause disruption but so do most things that are worth while in doing...IR want to use Inchicore as the area to start the tunnel so Inchicore should be treated the same as all other stations on the route...