Irish Loading Gauge

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Mordac

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Is the loading gauge in the NIR and IE network UIC, narrower, or as I suspect, even wider given the broader track gauge? Thanks in advance to anyone who knows the answer.
 
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Philip Phlopp

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Is the loading gauge in the NIR and IE network UIC, narrower, or as I suspect, even wider given the broader track gauge? Thanks in advance to anyone who knows the answer.

Much the same as the GB network, which is why they've ordered BR stock and later, stock developed for the GB network. Their own bespoke stock is much the same in gauge.

The CAF stock coming to Northern is based on the CAF stock ordered by NIR, which in turn is based on the CAF stock ordered by Heathrow Express.
 

thenorthern

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From memory most of the infrastructure of Northern Ireland Railways is the same as that of Great Britain with signals, signage and platform heigh all the same with the only noticeable exception being gauge.

I think in the Republic of Ireland though the trains use kilometers instead of miles.
 

Mordac

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Thanks for this. I did know signalling etc was pretty much the same as in GB at least in NIR, but thought the loading gauge would be better. So are trains the same width, but the wheels are farther away from the centre?
 

thenorthern

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Thanks for this. I did know signalling etc was pretty much the same as in GB at least in NIR, but thought the loading gauge would be better. So are trains the same width, but the wheels are farther away from the centre?

In theory I believe it would be possible to take the bogies off an Irish DMU and put a standard gauge bogie on it and it would run fine. I think there were proposals to send some Class 222s over there to run the enterprise service and its rather a shame they didn't.

I think the electrification used on the Dart trains though is 1500v DC so it would work with the Tyne and Wear Metro but nothing else.
 

edwin_m

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I think the electrification used on the Dart trains though is 1500v DC so it would work with the Tyne and Wear Metro but nothing else.

Yes, although most of the Metro has a smaller loading gauge than the UK so standard Irish stock wouldn't fit there either.

New works in Ireland such as the proposed DART Underground are likely to make passive provision for possible future conversion to 25kV and electrification to Belfast.
 

Dr Hoo

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Another illustration that the loading gauge is pretty similar to the mainland is that container trains suffer from the familiar issues of being restricted to particular routes and wagon types. Various bridge reconstructions and track lowerings have been necessary on intermodal routes to Ballina and Waterford.
 
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Philip Phlopp

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In theory I believe it would be possible to take the bogies off an Irish DMU and put a standard gauge bogie on it and it would run fine. I think there were proposals to send some Class 222s over there to run the enterprise service and its rather a shame they didn't.

I think the electrification used on the Dart trains though is 1500v DC so it would work with the Tyne and Wear Metro but nothing else.

There were mutterings at one point about some stock coming the other way (Irish network to GB network), must have been around the time EI/NIR mothballed stock and postponed new stock arriving, and there were some minor clearance issues to contend with. I'd guess that was the EI Rotem stock.

Think the plan mooted was for us to take their mothballed stock and pay them so they could then take out the options for delivery at a later date, or something stupidly complicated.
 

fgwrich

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There were mutterings at one point about some stock coming the other way (Irish network to GB network), must have been around the time EI/NIR mothballed stock and postponed new stock arriving, and there were some minor clearance issues to contend with. I'd guess that was the EI Rotem stock.

Think the plan mooted was for us to take their mothballed stock and pay them so they could then take out the options for delivery at a later date, or something stupidly complicated.

Are you sure? There was a mooting around the time of the wrangling between Midland Mainline and the SRA over the use of the services of which the 9 Car Meridians were ordered for. There was talk that if the SRA didn't allow MML to use them as 9 cars, they could and were considered for use on the Enterprise services to at least supplement the Loco Hauled if not replace it. Of course the Enterprise network & track still requires a fair bit of upgrading to this day.

Speaking of rolling stock - the Rotems are I'm led to believe based around the envelope of a Mk3 - to which they replaced (and were mooted to be sent over here for further use back here), while in the north when bidding for the NIRs New Trains 2 Contract - CAF offered the 4000 Series which is based on the 3000, Hyundai Rotem offered a commuter based version of the 22000 while Bombardier offered something called the... Areostar... And I wonder what that was based on?! :roll:
 

Philip Phlopp

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Are you sure?

Yes, but it was probably little more than a bright idea someone then had beaten out of them with a stick. It might just have been some arse covering exercise in case the press found out about stock sitting in a siding in Ireland.
 

thenorthern

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If the rail network in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were to have a large scale electrification I would imagine they would consider switching over to standard gauge to go with an electrification.
 

D6975

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Is the loading gauge in the NIR and IE network UIC, narrower, or as I suspect, even wider given the broader track gauge? Thanks in advance to anyone who knows the answer.

It is more generous, but only width wise. The height is pretty much the same as England etc. Hence the similar problems with containers.
The width is more generous, but I'm not sure by how much. Much of what's in service now was built to different standards to some of the older stock now long gone. The Park Royal coaches in particular were very wide, so much so that it was very noticeable when travelling in them. IIRC the 3rd class (later 2nd) compartments were 10 seater.

(The Park Royals were 10 ft 2 ins wide for the record, just 5cm narrower than UK loading gauge, you definitely couldn't use them over here)
 

thenorthern

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what would be the benefit?

The electrons work better when the rails are closer together<D

Worldwide it just seems to be the standard to build high speed rail to the french standards of standard gauge, running on the left with 25 Kv AC electrification.

I am aware that electrification in Ireland won't mean high speed rail but at the same time given the amount of work that would require electrification I wouldn't be surprised if at the same time Iarnród Éireann looked at changing the gauge to allow new trains to be built to similar standards of Great Britain and other parts of Europe.

An example of this is the Luas which was built with standard gauge.
 

Mordac

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Worldwide it just seems to be the standard to build high speed rail to the french standards of standard gauge, running on the left with 25 Kv AC electrification.

I am aware that electrification in Ireland won't mean high speed rail but at the same time given the amount of work that would require electrification I wouldn't be surprised if at the same time Iarnród Éireann looked at changing the gauge to allow new trains to be built to similar standards of Great Britain and other parts of Europe.

An example of this is the Luas which was built with standard gauge.

More likely, they'd use sleepers compatible with both gauges as they perform track renovations, until all the network was ready for a big-bang type switch, which could then be performed fairly quickly.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Worldwide it just seems to be the standard to build high speed rail to the french standards of standard gauge, running on the left with 25 Kv AC electrification.

I am aware that electrification in Ireland won't mean high speed rail but at the same time given the amount of work that would require electrification I wouldn't be surprised if at the same time Iarnród Éireann looked at changing the gauge to allow new trains to be built to similar standards of Great Britain and other parts of Europe.

An example of this is the Luas which was built with standard gauge.

Though as Ireland's loading gauge is non-standard on a global level (much like the GB system) would there be much gain for the pain? Tramway systems are different in that for the most part the systems worldwide are fairly similar with the main variable being high or low floors. As there's unlikely to be any interworking between Luas and IR (dual gauge tram-train, anyone? <D) I don't think the specifications of Luas suggests anything afoot with regard to gauge conversion.
 

Trog

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I would think that changing the Irish Railway system to standard gauge, would only be worth doing if a tunnel under the Irish Sea joining their system to ours was going to happen.
 

Mordac

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I would think that changing the Irish Railway system to standard gauge, would only be worth doing if a tunnel under the Irish Sea joining their system to ours was going to happen.

This was in the DUP manifesto for the last general election as a list of things they'd ask of a minority government to give them confidence and supply, so you never know ;)
 

thenorthern

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Am I right in thinking that on the Irish rail network there isn't the variable loading gauge with passenger stock and in theory any passenger stock can run anywhere except of course for the DART trains.

I would think that changing the Irish Railway system to standard gauge, would only be worth doing if a tunnel under the Irish Sea joining their system to ours was going to happen.

But what loading gauge would it be built to? :D
 

Trog

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Am I right in thinking that on the Irish rail network there isn't the variable loading gauge with passenger stock and in theory any passenger stock can run anywhere except of course for the DART trains.



But what loading gauge would it be built to? :D

At least the same as the trunk freight routes in the UK, with space for 25Kv OHL as providing more would be wasteful if it could not be used. If the train has still got to run through the UK to get to its destination.
 
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It is more generous, but only width wise. The height is pretty much the same as England etc. Hence the similar problems with containers.
The width is more generous, but I'm not sure by how much.

Like the Great Western then?
 

Phil.

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Are you sure? There was a mooting around the time of the wrangling between Midland Mainline and the SRA over the use of the services of which the 9 Car Meridians were ordered for. There was talk that if the SRA didn't allow MML to use them as 9 cars, they could and were considered for use on the Enterprise services to at least supplement the Loco Hauled if not replace it. Of course the Enterprise network & track still requires a fair bit of upgrading to this day.

Speaking of rolling stock - the Rotems are I'm led to believe based around the envelope of a Mk3 - to which they replaced (and were mooted to be sent over here for further use back here), while in the north when bidding for the NIRs New Trains 2 Contract - CAF offered the 4000 Series which is based on the 3000, Hyundai Rotem offered a commuter based version of the 22000 while Bombardier offered something called the... Areostar... And I wonder what that was based on?! :roll:

Why wouldn't the S.R.A. potentially not allow M.M.L. to use ninec ar Meridians?
 

craigybagel

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The MKIIIs were withdrawn en-masse despite only being about 25 years old. Those in power decided they were old and needed replacing with something shiny - when there was nothing wrong that a decent refurb couldn't have fixed. Instead, a small fortune was spent on buying more of the 22k, which despite them being arguably the nicest DMUs to be found in the British Isles was something of a waste given Irish Rails somewhat perilous finances. They were offered for sale but no purchase was ever likely - to run them in the UK, the only likely scenario, would have required a complete rewiring. And so most have been scrapped. Meanwhile, the 8200 class EMUs (dating from 2000) and the 2700 class DMUs (1998) have also been entirely withdrawn, and will most likely meet the same fate.

But given this is a company that still staffs stations that see 2 trains a day is anyone really surprised?

Anyway, back to gauging. Standard gauge was perfectly sensible for LUAS - there has never been any proposal to run them on the mainline so buying off the shelf is a much better idea. But in the mainline, it's hard to see any benefit to converting to standard gauge. Trains purchased for Ireland tend to be bespoke models anyway (since the MKIIIs there have not been any purchases that are merely British trains with wider bogies) so it's not like there are huge savings to be made by purchasing off the shelf . The current gauge may not be ideal (it's yet another Irish solution to an Irish problem) but it's hardly worth going through all the effort of replacing it.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Why wouldn't the S.R.A. potentially not allow M.M.L. to use ninec ar Meridians?

IIRC the SRA refused permission to run a new hourly Leeds-St Pancras service. Without it, the 9 cars were left without any work to do.
 

Andyjs247

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Surely standard gauge would be required for any new build in Ireland. They are subject to the same interoperability requirements as the rest of the EU are they not?
 

bangor-toad

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Perhaps arriving a little late to this...
Here's a rather unscientific couple of observations;

On my daily trips on NIR on the Class 3000 and Class 4000 units you get to see the difference in widths. Whilst the CAF units seem to be about the same size as UK mainland units, the step boards by each door are noticeably wider. Even with these there is still a fairly large gap at the platform.

A trip to the Transport Museum at Cultra (well recommended BTW) lets you see some of the older rolling stock. These seem really wide compared to current stock.

From looking around I'd say that the widths of Northern Irish stock has been greater than UK mainland stock. Current offerings don't capitalise on it fully and instead need wide step board but at least it means the widths aren't restricted in any way.

Cheers,
Mr Toad
 

craigybagel

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Surely standard gauge would be required for any new build in Ireland. They are subject to the same interoperability requirements as the rest of the EU are they not?

What about Finland, Portugal and (most of) Spain? If the rules don't apply there then why should they apply to a network that will almost certainly never be connected to the rest of Europe ?
 
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