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Well considering the most expensive part of a railway is the trackbed, and the earthwork, they're already in place, so that is not an issue. True work would need to be done on overbridges, I've already said that.

Are you really convinced the existing track bed and earth work can be built on to support a freight rail network? By your own admission the existing set up supports toy trains. Also what about the old railway lines that aren't currently used? Surely there will be a cost to make them good.

 

The rest of the arguement is typicaly weak and ill thought through. Think of the process of getting a conatiner off a boat in Douglas to, say Glen Maye.

 

Taken off the boat by lorry

Unloaded from lorry at ferry terminal

Loaded onto a train at ferry terminal

Shunted to Steam Packet yard

Unloaded off train in yard

Loaded onto train going to Peel (along newly laid rail track)

Unloaded of train at Peel

Loaded onto flatbed lorry to travel the 4 miles to Glen Maye.

 

All that cost and effort saves 10 miles (Douglas to Peel) and increases the journey time of the goods by hours (generously) days (realistically).

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Well considering the most expensive part of a railway is the trackbed, and the earthwork, they're already in place, so that is not an issue. True work would need to be done on overbridges, I've already said that.

Are you really convinced the existing track bed and earth work can be built on to support a freight rail network? By your own admission the existing set up supports toy trains. Also what about the old railway lines that aren't currently used? Surely there will be a cost to make them good.

 

The rest of the arguement is typicaly weak and ill thought through. Think of the process of getting a conatiner off a boat in Douglas to, say Glen Maye.

 

Taken off the boat by lorry

Unloaded from lorry at ferry terminal

Loaded onto a train at ferry terminal

Shunted to Steam Packet yard

Unloaded off train in yard

Loaded onto train going to Peel (along newly laid rail track)

Unloaded of train at Peel

Loaded onto flatbed lorry to travel the 4 miles to Glen Maye.

 

All that cost and effort saves 10 miles (Douglas to Peel) and increases the journey time of the goods by hours (generously) days (realistically).

 

No, you're actually being quite weak and ill thought out in your arguement. Why would a container be going to Glen Maye? What possible destination is at Glen Maye, apart from the Village shop which would never actually use a container loads Now a container might well be going to Ramsey, Peel, or Port Erin, but Glen Maye?

 

Another example of ill thinking - Why on earth are you thinking that the container needs to be shunted and unloaded onto another train at the steam packet yard, then unloaded to go to Peel? It only has to be transferred onto a train at the Yard, then can go straight to the nearest station, where the container is then taken to the nearest industry it is required for.

 

It would not take days to get to its destination, if done properly. You're really being uneccesarily pessemistic there. 2 - 3 hours more like if it's done properly and efficiently.

 

And why shouldn't the existing track bed and earthworks support a freight network. Granted as said, loading gauge is a problem. But on the Peel line for example there isn't actually that many bridges at all - 3 on the whole line, so it wouldn't be that much to upgrade (and the bridge at Braddan could do with upgrading to allow the access of emergency vehicles in TT + MGP week so fufilling a dual purpose. Perfectly good trans continental freight networks are supported on single track lines across America. So where's the problem on the IOM?

 

As regards the toy train comment, the problem is that way in which the railways are treated as a toy, and ran as such. But the existing locomotives (not the goods stock admittably) could cope with freight trains, especially on decent track. In China today a modern railway system supporting many heavy industries is ran using steam engines.

 

Now I will tell you how you make it work. Ok you throw money at the enteprise, but here is how to recoup it back. It's called monopoly. Because at the end of the day this Islands Government can enforce rules if it so chooses, and nothing can change that. So if the government states that all goods are to be dealt with by one carrier (Could be the railways), and no other private heavy goods vehicles are permitted on the IOM, then anyone who wants to function as a business in the IOM has to live by those rules (or up sticks). And if you do not believe it is possible to ban certain vehicles from the IOM without an outcry, then howcome there are no caravan trailers permitted over here (with a few exceptions allowed by the Government. All there has to be is support for the decision that such vehicles are wholly innapropriate for the Islands roads.

Edited by StuartT

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Yup .. one major problem with road - rail systems is loading / unloading / turnaround times. Also the backlog of traffic at the hubs. Since with current systems it takes a while to load containers onto a train. (And the Manx railways would need re building from scratch to take container traffic.)

 

Rail / road container systems are good for long journeys and / or involving tunnels. But very little of the traffic on Manx roads involves containers all heading to one final destination. A typical European hub would already be serving an area much bigger than the IOM from which containers would then be transported by road to their final destinations. In terms of final destinations - well the IOM already is a hub.

 

I can't think of much traffic which could be usefully transported by rail. Maybe the mail. But that would be a fairly artificial solution which wouldn't take any significant pressure off the roads.

 

PS - every hub on the network would also be hugely expensive to build and operate.

Edited by simon

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I can't think of much traffic which could be usefully transported by rail.

 

What like Stone from Quarrying?

 

Food to supermarkets - probably one of the biggest users of HGV's on the IOM?

 

Timber?

 

Rubbish?

 

Building materials?

 

etc, etc.

 

It's not just about time or cost, it's about getting things off the roads, which do not have to be there. OK some of it is going to be a self justifying exercise, but that's hardly abnormal in this Island, so we might as well as make practical use of something. Who knows if a freight network can be ran properly, maybe the next step is getting people out of their cars...

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Whenever road discussions crop up there's always this feeling from many of "get the traffic off the roads!" - and why?

 

Only so they can travel on the roads quicker and then park their cars/vans/bikes easier themselves.

 

Am I wrong?

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Whenever road discussions crop up there's always this feeling from many of "get the traffic off the roads!" - and why?

 

Only so they can travel on the roads quicker and then park their cars/vans/bikes easier themselves.

 

Am I wrong?

 

 

I actually pretty much walk, run or cycle everywhere. I've still not bothered/felt the need to learn yet, though one day will. Mind you, less cars and less wear on the roads means I can nail it even harder without having to worry about crashing/being knocked off my bike.

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You aren't surely seriously suggesting building a railway line to every business which ever receives a container load? And then building a rail - road container transfer system at every point of business? Those transfer systems are hugely expensive.

 

With maximum respect - rail is great idea for container traffic over longer distances. But to final destination road is the only viable option for container traffic. Manx distances are short in terms of the cost of building road - rail infrastructure.

 

It simply couldn't be economic to build hubs all over the island. Not to mention the cost of putting in the new railways needed.

 

Can you imagine building a line and hub to serve, say, ex Safeway in Ramsey which has one container per day AFAIK? Or B&Q?

 

You aren't being practical. Rail is a lovely idea. But converting our historic network into a serious tool for commercial traffic is simply not viable.

 

Rail - road transport systems are the business of huge international consortiums and governments and banks. They aren't for local traffic over a few miles.

Edited by simon

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You aren't surely seriously suggesting building a railway line to every business which ever receives a container load?

 

 

No, most of the suitable industries are fairly closely together anyway. I take your point and agree with it about definitely rail transport is a lot more suited for long distance transportation of goods than in a small space, but if the goal is of getting unsuitable vehicles off the Islands roads and to aleviate congestion, then they are also suited to that. I'm just suggesting means which could be used to achieve that goal.

 

I just find it ridiculous that we've spent so much on a railway system, and yet it is still being treated as a toy. It's neither a true heritage railway, nor is it run as a decent modern railway system. It is not viable because it is not being ran in a viable manner (eg crap running speeds, crap timetabling). I realise the main battle is getting people out of their cars, and making things cheap, but to do this a viable alternative must be provided (and I don't think the buses offer this either as they're prone to being caught up in traffic).

 

If the railways were actually run properly as a real transport system, starting with the resources that are available and then as time progresses aquiring more to more efficiently deal with those things, then they'd be viewed as a more viable option. It's a kind of chicken and egg situation. They need to be cheap, fast and provide people with comfort. A certain amount of this is actually acheivable with the current resources available.

 

Maybe goods traffic isn't viable, but passenger traffic should be, using buses as a feeder network. I mean the main railway station is actually located in the heart of Douglas where most of the finance sector is.

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Aye, I'd love to see our railway/tram lines being regenerated, but the very last way they would, could or should be used is as you're suggesting stuart!

 

They would be far more useful being commuter trams/trains, if that sort of money were to be spent. Not freight trains, lol. Where is there that would even be getting that amount of stuff? It's only supermarkets and shops mainly, and they're mostly in or around Douglas.

 

Would be pretty damn good if the trams as they are were to run a bit more often (ie late at night) as they are for a start! Imagine going out into Douglas on the tram then, jumping back on it at 2.30am after a night of debauchery. Ace!

 

Even if there was only one tram, say at 1am or something, that left Summerland, stopped Onchan, Laxey then Ramsey.

 

Good for us North of Doolish anyways. Though if a steam train were to leave the Railway from Douglas at 1am weekends that would I'm sure be used by the Southerners too.

 

And stick proper trams on the horse tram rails too whilst we're at it.

 

Whatever happened to Douglas 2000, wasn't there supposed to be a train/horsetram/tram link from North-South. That was all car stickers and no action.

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Like converting a farm track into a motorway.

 

Personally I think it's a pity that bits of the old railway line have now been obstructed and fenced. That would make a great track for horses and bicycles.

 

EDIT:

 

And stick proper trams on the horse tram rails too whilst we're at it.

 

Lovely idea. But the lines aren't suitable for modern trams. And the interaction with motor vehicles would be a dangerous nightmare.

 

Get real people :)

Edited by simon

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Aye, I'd love to see our railway/tram lines being regenerated, but the very last way they would, could or should be used is as you're suggesting stuart!

 

They would be far more useful being commuter trams/trains, if that sort of money were to be spent. Not freight trains, lol. Where is there that would even be getting that amount of stuff? It's only supermarkets and shops mainly, and they're mostly in or around Douglas.

 

Would be pretty damn good if the trams as they are were to run a bit more often (ie late at night) as they are for a start! Imagine going out into Douglas on the tram then, jumping back on it at 2.30am after a night of debauchery. Ace!

 

Even if there was only one tram, say at 1am or something, that left Summerland, stopped Onchan, Laxey then Ramsey.

 

Good for us North of Doolish anyways. Though if a steam train were to leave the Railway from Douglas at 1am weekends that would I'm sure be used by the Southerners too.

 

And stick proper trams on the horse tram rails too whilst we're at it.

 

Whatever happened to Douglas 2000, wasn't there supposed to be a train/horsetram/tram link from North-South. That was all car stickers and no action.

 

LOL re Douglas 2000. Actually historically the main failing of the MER was that it never actually took on the horse trams and electified them instead of ending at Derby Castle.

 

I have to admit I'm not actually as convinced that in its current state as much is acheivable with the MER in terms of running speeds and comfort as with the steam. Though I definitely agree with you a lot of potential traffic is being lost by ignoring the opportunity for late night running.

 

As you're probably aware, the trackbed is far too curvy for a decent running speed. Whereas those on the railway are slightly more gradual. Also the gradients are worse on the Electric. I think I've heard potential running speeds of 50MPH cited as possible for the Steam Railway using the current stock on the track now available. Now if the buses were used to feed to certain stations, stops could be minimised, and faster speeds attained (as you well know speed is lost stopping between stations).

 

Personally should it happen I think the best option for running into Douglas from Ramsey would be to take the Old MNR track, curve it round and run it into the North End of Peel. That way the new station would be better sighted for where Peel has developed, and it would allow through running, with no need for a junction at St Johns, and separate Ramsey + Peel Lines. So there would actually be more time saved.

Edited by StuartT

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Like converting a farm track into a motorway.

 

Personally I think it's a pity that bits of the old railway line have now been obstructed and fenced. That would make a great track for horses and bicycles.

It's mainl

 

y a clear run through, though I have to say it would be my second favoured option to see the railway line to Peel + Ramsey turned into a cycleway, with the section into Douglas properly reopened and re-established as a right of way. That way you could get a flat, decent ride through all the way to North Quay. That would also safeguard it's future, should the desire/need for a railway arise.

 

On the subject of the trackbed into Douglas, I've noticed a certain garage has pushed its boundaries back somewhat. I don't remember them ever buying the trackbed, but they've now blocked it off with their boundary fences.

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Lovely idea. But the lines aren't suitable for modern trams. And the interaction with motor vehicles would be a dangerous nightmare.

 

Get real people

 

Simon - not really. There are plenty of cities with trams running through narrower streets than the Prom. Melbourne, Nottingham, Manchester that I've seen, and I'm sure there are more.

Normal trams would be much better suited to a road like that than horse trams are I reckon.

 

Anyway, that was the only bit of my post that was just a throw away comment, so not sure why I'm defending it.

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" Now a container might well be going to Ramsey, Peel, or Port Erin, but Glen Maye? "

 

If stuff is always going to coastal towns, wouldn't it be cheaper (and not that much more time-consuming) to trans-ship?

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" Now a container might well be going to Ramsey, Peel, or Port Erin, but Glen Maye? "

 

If stuff is always going to coastal towns, wouldn't it be cheaper (and not that much more time-consuming) to trans-ship?

 

Well I did actually say that earlier, but obviously no-one actually picked up on that.

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