It seems that rail engineering projects aren’t being stymied by the downturn that seems to be the case in Éire as much as it is in other places. Today saw the announcement of further efforts towards putting the DART Underground in place for Dublin. It should be remembered that the original above ground DART was constructed in the middle of another recession in the early 1980’s so it looks as if history is set to repeat itself. Naturally anyone living above where the tunnels are to be going will be concerned but tunnel construction has happened in Ireland (and Dublin too) before without any above ground consequences so that should give a little reassurance. That there are forward thinking projects like this in progress in a country in public sector borrowing reduction should be some cause for optimism for the future, especially when there’s always the temptation to scale back these very things in the short-term.
The U.K. still retains a more expansionary approach with all of the excitement surrounding HS2. However, that will won’t be in place for a good while so enhancing what we already have might be a better idea. Thankfully, Manchester’s rail congestion is coming to notice and there’s London’s Crossrail and other such schemes in the offing too. With all of this and what is happening in the Middle East (Dubai) and with high-speed rail in the U.S.A., you have to say that railways are seeing something of a renaissance at the moment. Hindsight nearly always is 20-20 vision but it now very much appears that a transport strategy based around private motorised transport only was going to get us so far and we now have the congestion to prove it. Add the threat of global warming (has it been overplayed even if it’s real?) and the need to cut down on carbon footprints and it seems that we live in an interesting age when the benefits of public transport are there for all to see. Let’s hope that it stays that way.