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High speed rail in Ireland and bridges and tunnels… August 2, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Reading Newton Emerson’s latest contribution in the IT one will see that he’s not in favour of high speed rail on the island of Ireland and most particularly not the idea of links between Dublin, Belfast and Cork. Why this should be the case is not immediately clear. He talks of the Irish Rail study from Aecom in 2011 which suggested that population and growth up to 2030 would not justify same – one might think that during a global financial crisis perspectives could be a little different to more recent times. Worth reconsidering at least without dismissing out of hand.

Anyhow, be that as it may – and as someone who has had the experience of travelling around southern Spain on high speed rail, it really is quite something.

Meanwhile he notes that:

The UK government is offering billions of pounds for national infrastructure under its “union connectivity” and “levelling up” policies. Nationalists have condemned this as meddling with devolution but the independent commission could help Mallon get around that concern. For all the attention and laughter at British prime minister Boris Johnson’s tunnel to Scotland, it receives only a token study in the Union Connectivity Review, while cross-Border rail gets a specific listing – ironic, given the constitutional politics involved.

Okay. But perhaps he should read the UCR which offers a reason for this mention:

Given that both passengers and freight travel through the Republic of Ireland on their way between England and Northern Ireland, north-south connectivity through Ireland is important. Cross-border routes include the Irish M1 which runs along the coast from Dublin to Newry, joining the A1 and continuing to Belfast and the A5 which runs south from Derry through Strabane, joining with the Irish N2 on its way towards Monaghan and Dublin.

Difficult to see that mention infringing or impinging on the ‘constitutional politics’ of the ROI in a negative fashion.

Whereas the lack of focus on the tunnel?

Perhaps because there is no detail from British Transport Secretary other than a proposal and with no specific route suggested. Can’t blame the UCR for being more focused on a realisable upgrade to already existing links. 


1. sonofstan - August 2, 2021

The major sore thumb in Irish connectivity is Dublin to Derry and onwards to Donegal. The logical way to open up Donegal is via Derry and through Tyrone and Monaghan, benefitting passengers on both sides of the border. Derry is the only city on the island that is not connected to Dublin by either a motorway or a direct rail link.

Liked by 2 people

benmadigan - August 2, 2021

“benefitting passengers on both sides of the border”.

Which passengers?
Ussuns or Themmuns?
If it’s “themmuns” the cry of “never, never, never” rings out!


EWI - August 2, 2021

Derry is the only city on the island that is not connected to Dublin by either a motorway or a direct rail link.

Give me this and ‘lack of a Derry university’ for Things Which Are Not A Coincidence.

But sure, the IT will allow Emerson to concern troll and to pretend that the Boris Tunnel is a real thing.


2. Jim Monaghan - August 2, 2021

My hobby horse. Get rid of the regional airports, Waterford, Donegal, Kerry etc. Divert the money to train and rural bus services. One half of Donegal should have bus services to Sligo rail, the other to Derry rail. Upgrade the signalling to Sligo and replace the Shannon bridge. Part of the problem is that air is trendy and indeed the faux Greens fall for this. Bus services should be the priority. Rail is not that much of a push factor for development. I would point out that Limerick Junction has attracted nothing.
Even a Socialist Ireland would have to make decisions on what capital projects to support.

Liked by 1 person

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