Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Pace railway station - a godforsaken hellhole, if ever there was one.

It’s a desolate, godforsaken place, Pace Railway Station - a bit like Ireland in microcosm.  Pace is the country's biggest dedicated park and ride facility and one of the new stops on the Docklands to Dunboyne line, which opens next Friday.

Due to a lying estate agent, I found myself out that way last Saturday looking – out of curiosity - at a house that lay “a quarter of a mile away” from the new facility. The house itself looked lovely.  It even had an air of Chesire about it, and I half expected to see nutjob Roy Keane emerging with his Labrador from a nearby driveway. Thankfully he didn’t.

When they say this place is a “park and ride” they are not kidding. The only possible way you can get to it is by car or motorbike. Maybe a pushbike if you are intrepid/stupid enough to negotiate the massive roundabouts feeding on and off the new M3. And are you really going to cycle down the M3 on a pushbike?

If you live in one of the “nearby” settlements (see second paragraph) you will need a good pair of wellies, as in true Irish style, any footpaths that head off in the direction of the new station fizzle out and turn into brambles and muck before they actually reach it.   There is even a clever touch in the form of what looks like a pedestrian walkway to the station (just as the path stops) but, alas, it just goes down to a waterlogged bog of a field by the railway sidings.

If, though, you managed to negotiate the muck and the roundabouts on foot, you would be faced with a choice of scrambling down an embankment to get to the station proper, or walk another mile or so to the car park entrance and then double back to the station.

If you work in the IFSC your pinstripe is going to be in a right state by the time you get there.

Best take your car - but allow lots of time for the traffic jams.

Gombeen Nation Special Effects Department note:

If you want to get the full effect, get a cup of coffee, tea, whiskey or whatever, play the music below, and lose yourself in the picture above.

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Laurence said...

Looking at the size of the huge car park in the picture, you'd be soaked on a wet day by the time you walked to it from the station. Never any attempt to provide a covered walkway in the notoriously rainy Irish climate.

Like a lot of other things it was probably designed by people who will never have to use it. The same could be said for most of the infrastructure in the country, or the lack of it.

Seems it takes a German student to come in and design an integrated map for Dublin Bus, the like of which would be the norm in any European city for donkey's years. Does anyone in charge of Dublin Bus ever actually ride on a bus?

Did the "developers" who built the endless, soulless suburbs of West Dublin ever have to live there? Or the crooked politicians who authorised them? Thousands of semi-detached boxes down winding boreens with little or no public transport.

I'd say a good amount of Ireland's social problems can be attributed to unplanned over-development of remote housing estates which then fester in isolation.

Ella said...

I'd say this train line will be called the misery line. The first part of the line uses the same track as Maynooth, then it branches off for Clonsilla and leads to Barnswell Hansfield, with it's smart new station and no access. Then we arrive at Dunboyne station, with it's paid for parking and the positioning of the station in the village (ok almost on the edge of the village) will cause traffic chaos, then last stop is Pace, and it appears the only access to that is by car. Great stuff altogether.

Dakota said...

Why does the whimsical words SMART ECONOMY waft through my mind? Oh I know, the likely canditates living out that way, will have to up their IQ, on a daily basis, just to get into work. This must be a brain training exercise on behalf of the Government? The developers were doing the country a service afterall. Come to think of it, thats why there's a lack of road signage in the state!?

Ponyboy said...

ok that's it - I'm moving back to Ireland

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes folks... that picture (taken with my phone) actually depicts it quite accurately. "Come to Pace Country" - cue stirring, panoramic cowboy music.

Town planning, infractructure planning, economic planning, family planning. Not exactly Irish strongpoints.