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Examining the Feasibility of the Electrification of the Dublin to Maynooth Railway Line

Examining the Feasibility of the Electrification of the Dublin to Maynooth Railway Line

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Robert Roche. Originally submitted for Civil Engineering at Dublin Institute of Technology, with lecturer Valerie Fenton in the category of Engineering & Mechanical Sciences
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Robert Roche. Originally submitted for Civil Engineering at Dublin Institute of Technology, with lecturer Valerie Fenton in the category of Engineering & Mechanical Sciences

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 30, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
 
Examining the Feasibility of the Electrification of the Dublin to Maynooth Railway Line
Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment for the degree of Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil Engineering)Word Count: 19,949
 
 2
Abstract
The aim of this project is to examine the feasibility of electrifying the rail line that exists betweenDublin and Maynooth in Ireland. The electrification of the line will allow the extension of the DublinArea Rapid Transit network to Maynooth town and will allow greater access to rail services forpassengers using the line.The rationale for electrifying the rail line resides in the future population forecasts for the GreaterDublin Area (GDA). The National Transport Authority forecast that the population of the GDA couldrise to 2.2 million by 2030 which will put increased pressure on the public transport system in theGDA.Currently peak rail services on the Maynooth line are overcrowded; a situation which has worseneddue to an increase in the number of passengers using the service. The benefits of utilising electrictraction on the line include being able to operate more trains at higher speeds and at greater servicefrequencies that with equivalent diesel traction. This will result in time savings for passengers, anddue to the nature of electric traction it will also result in operational cost savings for the operatingcompany Irish Rail.The advantages and disadvantages of electrifying the rail line are examined in detail in order to assessthe feasibility of electrifying the rail line. The capital costs, operational & maintenance costs,environmental costs and value of time savings as a result of utilising electric traction on the line areestimated using source data from Irish Rail and Network Rail (UK).
The capital cost of electrifying the rail line is estimated at approximately €51 million with a net
present value of 
 €38 million if construction begins in 2017. Several options for operating a fully
electrified service and a combined electric and diesel service are examined for the purposes of conducting the cost-benefit analysis on the project. The benefit-cost ratio of 1.94 was arrived at whenestimating the total passenger time saving per passenger to be just under eight minutes.A sensitivity analysis was carried out and the project was found to be very sensitive to the amount of time saved per passenger journey. For example if the time saving was increased to 10 minutes perpassenger, the benefit-cost ratio for full electrification increased to 2.58 and the Internal Rate of Return for the project was increased from 10.5% to 17%.The results of the cost-benefit analysis are intended as a guide to assess the economic feasibility of completing the electrification of the Maynooth line project. The results of the economic assessmentshow that electrifying the Maynooth line would be feasible within the scope of this project.Further research will be necessary in order to evaluate an accurate benefit-cost ratio for the project,however based upon the research examined and presented in this project, the electrification of theMaynooth rail line is an economically feasible project that should be considered for completion by theIrish Government when funding allows.
 
 iii
Table of Contents
Abstract ................................................................................................................................................... 2Table of Contents ................................................................................................................................... iiiList of Figures ........................................................................................................................................ viList of Tables ........................................................................................................................................ viiList of Equations .................................................................................................................................. viiiAcronyms ............................................................................................................................................... ix1. Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 11.1. Background and Context ......................................................................................................... 11.2. Scope and Objectives .............................................................................................................. 21.3. Overview of Project ................................................................................................................ 32. Methodology ................................................................................................................................. 42.1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 42.2. Research Methods ................................................................................................................... 42.3. Chapter Outline ....................................................................................................................... 52.3.1. Literature Review ............................................................................................................ 52.3.2. Case Study ...................................................................................................................... 52.3.3. Maynooth Line Existing Conditions and Proposed Works ............................................. 62.3.4. Feasibility Assessment of Proposed Project ................................................................... 62.3.5. Conclusions, Recommendations and Further Work ........................................................ 73. Literature Review ......................................................................................................................... 83.1. Background ............................................................................................................................. 83.2. National Policy Documents .................................................................................................... 93.2.1. National Development Plan 2007

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