Ireland's Enterprise service - could it be extended?

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backontrack

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Enterprise-branded trains run between Belfast Central and Dublin Connolly, calling at Portadown, Newry, Dundalk, and Drogheda along the way. Lisburn is also served by some trains, as is Lurgan on Sundays.

There are plans to improve the service frequency, but I was wondering whether or not it would be possible to extend the service. People are talking about serving Belfast Great Victoria Street before/in lieu of Central (which makes sense as it's more centrally located), but I was wondering if more through services are planned; perhaps trains could run from Belfast to Dún Laoghaire, from Dublin to Bangor or Larne, from (London)Derry to Dublin, or even from Belfast to Cork via the Phoenix Park Tunnel.
 
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Elwyn

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Some Belfast to Dublin services did start and finish in Bangor in the 1980s and they also ran through to Dun Laoghaire too at one time but there were a lot of empty stock movements involved and the passenger numbers never justified these extended journeys. Also, nowadays Dun Laoghaire no longer has any ferries so that seems most unlikely to resume as a destination.

The other issue is that there are only the 3 Enterprise trains, so if you start giving them extended routes, you risk losing rotations on the Belfast to Dublin route which is their primary function. I’d rather see a speeded up Belfast to Dublin timetable with extra services there, than have them running out to Larne or Bangor to pick up 15 passengers. That’s what the CAFs are for.
 

hurricanemk1c

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Two or three issues with that:

1) Capacity issue over the Lagan bridge for the Derry line / Bangor Line
2) Signalling issues down to Dun Laoghaire + no suitable turnback
3) To get access to the Cork line would be interesting, as Connolly would have to be a turnback, and depending on which platform (would likely be the existing Platform 2) a full crossover of the station throat - in a 10 minute DART frequency

Plus the current lack of suitable spare stock and we have the existing service
 

MarkyT

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How about extending to Glasgow via undersea tunnel :) , converting/dualing the Ayrshire network to 5' 3", as necessary for gauge compatibility. Perhaps bi-mode vehicles might be suitable to run through the long tunnel under electric power, switching to diesel in Ireland. I'll get my coat!
 

edwin_m

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Has anyone suggested transferring 442s to Ireland and fitting them with the bogies off the scrapped Mk3s?
 

hurricanemk1c

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I believe the bogies from the IÉ Mark 3s are also long since gone.

And although the idea does have advantages (such as ready made driving trailers), I think the doors are too narrow for wheelchair access (as in compliance to standards), since the stock would change jurisdiction (would have to be approved by the CRR as well)
 
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ChiefPlanner

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How about extending to Glasgow via undersea tunnel :) , converting/dualing the Ayrshire network to 5' 3", as necessary for gauge compatibility. Perhaps bi-mode vehicles might be suitable to run through the long tunnel under electric power, switching to diesel in Ireland. I'll get my coat!

Extending the service from Belfast to Waterford via the (mothballed) link line ?

Must be a demand - there is a physical railway there after all :idea:

(also getting my coat)
 

ainsworth74

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Okay, I think that's enough trying to score points on Forum Bingo don't you? Lets try and head in an 'on topic' direction please ;)
 

jamesontheroad

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I could imagine the greatest potential would be through services from Derry/Londonderry to Dublin; or Belfast to Cork.

Derry - Dublin takes about four hours by direct bus, so regardless of the capacity constraints of the line between Derry and Belfast, the train would probably struggle to be competitive on time and cost.

Belfast - Cork has (in the past) been sufficiently popular to support air service from BHD (with Manx2, and before that Aer Arann). However there hasn't been sufficient demand for a number of years (quite how long it has been, I'm not sure). There's no direct bus, and by road you will always be susceptible to Dublin traffic. While the train would have to reverse at Connolly, the Phoenix Park tunnel would provide a quick route around Dublin.

Again, the biggest problem as has been noted is the small size of the Enterprise fleet. Either of the above could be operated with IE/NIR railcars, but for what could potentially be the longest end-to-end rail journey on the island of Ireland, you'd probably want coaching stock.
 

berneyarms

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I really don't see any extensions happening - the lack of rolling stock alone would be the principal factor, together with tight turnaround times.

Why would you extend to Dún Laoghaire when there is going to be a DART every 10 minutes for goodness sakes? Utterly pointless.

The Belfast-Cork journey is peddled out repeatedly by enthusiasts - that market is tiny and is far better served by developing an hourly Dublin-Belfast service and connecting via LUAS to the hourly Dublin-Cork service.

A focus on the core product is what is needed, not pointless extensions where existing services will be more than sufficient.
 
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