Recent Transport Articles

A couple of enlightening recent articles:

  1. A short but very informative article on the recent history of Dublin’s transport network from An Irish Town Planner’s Blog. Yes, Templebar was set to become a bus station but – absurd as it sounds – from reading this article it sounded more like the Japanese approach, combining bus and rail, shopping centre and offices in the dead centre of the city. Also, although we have had to wait over 25 years for it to reach Blanchardstown, it could have been even worse…the DART was nearly a Diesel train called “Bayline”…
  2. Tim Harford (author of “The Undercover Economist”) describes new research from a PhD thesis that argues that India’s legendarily extensive rail network improved its economy and was not just a more effective way to ship India’s wealth abroad.
  3. CNN talks about how China is spending $50 billion this year alone to expand their high speed network, making America’s $8 billion over three years look fairly tame by comparison.

Stark contrast between Ireland and India’s post-colonial  attitude to their rail networks. Having achieved independence, India kept theirs running, electrified all 60,000km and prepares a separate budget just for its railways while Ireland dismantled two thirds of theirs, ripped up the trams in its capital city and now plans to spend €34 billion to restore a small portion of it by 2015. It still won’t be as extensive as it was in 1920.