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-   -   EU funding announced (http://www.railusers.ie/forum/showthread.php?t=15209)

Padna 15-08-2014 14:42

EU funding announced
 
http://www.seupb.eu/Libraries/Media_...PR_3.sflb.ashx

Is there any chance that one of the outcomes of this funding willl be a more frequent and/or business-friendly service? By business-friendly I specifically mean the first train in the morning in each direction arriving into its destination before 09:00. An arrival time of around 08:30 should work well. It would also be nice to have trains departing Dublin and Belfast around 17:30 each evening.

Traincustomer 15-08-2014 15:23

On the subject of Drogheda a measure which would deliver more passengers to the railway is if certain local subsidised bus services actually served the station forecourt.

The same principle could be applied to Dundalk.

Mark Gleeson 15-08-2014 17:26

This is barely enough to keep things going

so 12 million on the trains, a basic mid life overhaul is 300k a coach anyway, so that burns 8.5 million quickly enough

No extra trains, no physical infrastructure improvements

They might on the other hand get the toilets and PA system to finally work reliably

Inniskeen 16-08-2014 10:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Padna (Post 74784)
http://www.seupb.eu/Libraries/Media_...PR_3.sflb.ashx

Is there any chance that one of the outcomes of this funding willl be a more frequent and/or business-friendly service? By business-friendly I specifically mean the first train in the morning in each direction arriving into its destination before 09:00. An arrival time of around 08:30 should work well. It would also be nice to have trains departing Dublin and Belfast around 17:30 each evening.

Of all the mainline routes into Dublin, apart from Tralee, the Belfast line is unique in not having an end to end service arriving in Dublin before 0900. The only cross-border service arriving before 0900 is a particularly slow time-wasting train from Newry at 0645 taking marginally under two hours for the 69 miles to Connolly.

Dundalk isn't much better although it does have a few additional services, again very slow and principally formed by low comfort, low amenity, high density, but very reliable, commuter equipment. Poor overall service quality combined with mainline fares and car parking charges have seen a substantial migration of traffic to alternatives modes in the last six or seven years. Like so many other aspects of Irish Rail Operations the prospect on an improvement seems remote despite adequate resources to do so. The railway won't survive by cutting costs alone, it must also improve services, increase ridership and grow revenue.

KSW 17-08-2014 23:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inniskeen (Post 74788)
Of all the mainline routes into Dublin, apart from Tralee, the Belfast line is unique in not having an end to end service arriving in Dublin before 0900. The only cross-border service arriving before 0900 is a particularly slow time-wasting train from Newry at 0645 taking marginally under two hours for the 69 miles to Connolly.

06.45 Gorey to Dublin also takes 2hrs arriving around 8.45 a distance smiliar to Dundalk. I refuse to travel 2hrs for a small distance at a higher price than taking the bus at 1hr20mins journey time. Until Irish Rail lower fares and have more reliable services with reduced journey times I'll never travel by train.!!

James Howard 18-08-2014 07:05

It's a general Irish Rail thing. The 06:15 from Longford is a shade over 70 miles and again a shade over two hours. Even the 0545 from Sligo which doesn't stop between Maynooth and Drumcondra takes an hour and 50 minutes.

The bus is about the same for me but the level of comfort on the train tips the balance so long as I can avoid 29Ks. I generally arrive into work with an hour's work done already which I couldn't do on the bus.

Journey time isn't everything and it is hard to see how Irish Rail can feasibly compete on journey time given their present economic constraints. They can however compete on comfort if they avoid shooting themselves in the foot but cutting back on capacity.

Mickey H 20-08-2014 15:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson (Post 74787)



No extra trains,

There is absolutely no reason for ANY new rolling stock for Irish Rail. They have 27 2700 vehicles that can be returned to service and there is at least one 22k, 22014, that has not been in service since November. And don't get me started on the vandalism of scrapping the mk3s. I accept there was no need to retain the whole fleet but it would have been common sense to retain the push-pull sets to provide a flexible reserve fleet for GAA and other big days (and they were passed for Belfast too)

I don't have figures but what percentage of the DART fleet is currently required for daily use? 50?

ACustomer 20-08-2014 16:23

Mickey H. Forget about the Mk3s!. They are gone, scrapped, as dead as Monty Python's parrot.

Its the semi-retired Mk4s you should be concerned: less than the age of the Mk 3s.

dowlingm 22-08-2014 17:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inniskeen (Post 74788)
Of all the mainline routes into Dublin, apart from Tralee, the Belfast line is unique in not having an end to end service arriving in Dublin before 0900. The only cross-border service arriving before 0900 is a particularly slow time-wasting train from Newry at 0645 taking marginally under two hours for the 69 miles to Connolly.

Ideally the existing NIR Portadown-Newry 0615 and IE Newry-Connolly 0645 would be replaced by a set of 2 TPWSed ICRs,

Going the other way, a set of CAF 3000s could spend the night in Connolly and dispatched in the Newry-Central 0655 arriving 0806.

The CAFs could be an extension of the train arriving in Portadown 2158, becoming Newry 2220, Connolly 2340. The ICRs could similarly be extended off a Dundalk service running after the last Enterprise northbound.

I imagine there are several tiresome impediments to this, starting with money, continuing through logistics and finishing with politics.

dowlingm 22-08-2014 17:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson (Post 74787)
This is barely enough to keep things going

so 12 million on the trains, a basic mid life overhaul is 300k a coach anyway, so that burns 8.5 million quickly enough

I note a reference to "match funding" from south and north, but not whether it was 1:1 (cynic in me says: not)

ocian 26-08-2014 15:01

Any idea why 22014 has been out of service for so long? I read somewhere that it went out for a trail run over the weekend, but it still hasn't got its 4th coach which is sitting out in Laois Depot....

Jamie2k9 26-08-2014 15:07

2 years ago they took some sets out of service and stripped them for parts, all are back in service since and 14 is being done now.

The single coach is Laois is not for that set AFAIK, it was on another set but taken off to get new wheels which is probably not happening until its needed or they can afford it!

ocian 26-08-2014 15:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jamie2k9 (Post 74842)
2 years ago they took some sets out of service and stripped them for parts, all are back in service since and 14 is being done now.

The single coach is Laois is not for that set AFAIK, it was on another set but taken off to get new wheels which is probably not happening until its needed or they can afford it!

Cheers for the answer Jamie :) . With or without the single coach hopefully they can get 22014 back into service soon and toss a 29000 off the intercity routes

Jamie2k9 31-08-2014 18:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by ocian (Post 74843)
Cheers for the answer Jamie :) . With or without the single coach hopefully they can get 22014 back into service soon and toss a 29000 off the intercity routes

not going to happen, 22 PC set going North for duration of the refurbish. Suspect that why 14 is going back into use. Hopefully they will bring back a Mark IV as well for duration but other routes will probably draw the short straw as usual.

Mark Gleeson 01-09-2014 13:59

There will be a need at least 2 first class ICR sets for Dublin Belfast, in fact they might need to run as 5+3 config

TPWS sets do not have the Irish Rail flag logo

They will have to get another Mk4 set back in service to cover

dowlingm 03-09-2014 20:38

Running a Mk4 on one or more Limerick services seems to me to be worthy of a hard look. The timetable isn't ideal for locohaul but neither is pouring capacity back onto the Cork route if it can't be taken advantage of.

For Dublin-Belfast, I can only hope the 22s perform well enough that the powers that be give due regard to using them for additional rotations after the DDs return.

Mark Gleeson 04-09-2014 11:39

MK4 can get to Limerick, but

1. No one in Limerick is trained on them
2. Cork is the home shed for overnight maintenance
3. No train hosts in Limerick and union issues

MK4 would struggle with the start stop pattern on the Limerick timetable

Strangely a Mk4 would be ideal for Dublin Belfast, but has no clearance for NI operation

berneyarms 04-09-2014 12:03

I suspect that you may see an extra Mark 4 set pushed into use on Dublin-Cork to displace ICRs to allow for the Premier sets to swap over to Connolly for the Enterprise.

There's no need for Mark 4 stock to be going anywhere else.

ACustomer 04-09-2014 13:02

The reduced Mk4 service on the Cork line needs 3 or 4 sets. There should be in principle 8 eight-coach sets in total (67 vehicles delivered which I think include a 9th DVT and 2 other spare vehicles).

In that case why not use 3 or 4 Mk4 sets on the Enterprise and save a load of money on refurbishing the DDs? I know the Mk4s will need some cosmetic refurbishment soon and a mid-life upgrade in 5 to 10 years time.

I quite realise that it's a bit too late to ask this question now, but does management ever think outside the box?

Maybe the inferior ride quality of the Mk4s combined with the inferior track quality of the Belfast line might put people off.

Thomas J Stamp 05-09-2014 11:09

the DD's need mid life refurb now, the mk4 will need it in 10 years (they need an internal one now) so its much of a muchness.

as mark says they are not cleared to operate in NI but that is something that can be achieved with a bit of willpower and initiative.

there is no real plan at all, or any plan is changed/abandoned because of things.

we attended a big think in up in belfast a few years back (4/5???) with all the stakeholders. everyone agreed that it should be an hourly service and it should be attractive.

only thing done was to try and convert the electrical vans from Mk3's to be put into the DD's and even that was ballsed up and took forever.

I would imagine the next solution will be ICR's. Those who use the first class bit of the Enterprise will be in for some shock. No matter how you dress it up, in my experience the 22ks are an inferior product to the DD's and the Mark4's. (yes, I know about the windows).

Even if you do not agree, taking trains specifically marketed and branded for a service and replacing them with common rolling stock and then cutting those trains in half only sends a big subliminal message out there to the public - you aint getting what you once had, and here is a fare increase. Cheers. What do you mean you're taking the car???

Jamie2k9 05-09-2014 14:51

Quote:

The reduced Mk4 service on the Cork line needs 3 or 4 sets. There should be in principle 8 eight-coach sets in total (67 vehicles delivered which I think include a 9th DVT and 2 other spare vehicles).

In that case why not use 3 or 4 Mk4 sets on the Enterprise and save a load of money on refurbishing the DDs? I know the Mk4s will need some cosmetic refurbishment soon and a mid-life upgrade in 5 to 10 years time.

I quite realise that it's a bit too late to ask this question now, but does management ever think outside the box?

Maybe the inferior ride quality of the Mk4s combined with the inferior track quality of the Belfast line might put people off.
Currently 3 sets in operated, had being 5. Before the downturn 6 sets had being in operation and a spare set.

There is only 7 sets and a few spare coaches. They were build as 9 coach units so provided they have spare DVT/Frist class and/Dinning cart they could operate another.

The fleet was really only rebuilt 4-5 years ago by CAF because of the suspension problems so a overhaul is probably a long time off.

Guess we may see the end to M3 Parkway and Maynooth being 22s by Belfast taking over.

As for taking a Mark 4 set back into service when the change takes place IE didn't see the need when services spent 3 months having reduced capacity earlier this year so 18 months won't make any difference.....they could review services and possibly make cuts if needed either. There should be a timetable by year end. Anything is possible!

Mark Gleeson 05-09-2014 15:47

There are 8 full sets (8 coaches, DVT+1st+Buffet + 4 std)

Plus three additional standards

So 7 service sets, which is sufficient for the full hourly service

dowlingm 06-09-2014 11:01

The DVTs on the Mark 4 would need TPWS too, in addition to all of the objections listed for Limerick plus clearance trials. Sure, Mark 4s could replace 22s to Cork, but that ignores why they were taken off in the first place: passenger counts which didn't cover the costs of operating a Mark 4 set.

As for the 22s to the north, if they could operate at full speed in the north, get some stretches reclassified to 100mph and were able to handle DART congestion better than loco haul, might not some time savings result which in turn could mitigate the perception of a lower quality cabin? In any case, concerns about 22 cabin would be hard to take from IE considering how often they use 29s on the route,

Jamie2k9 06-09-2014 11:16

There is commuter traffic towards Belfast which could defeat any upgrade of the few 90 spots.

You are generally right about passenger numbers however there is many services which carry acceptable numbers for a Mark 4. If you have to run 6 and 7 coach 22s then a Mark 4 should be in service. They could also have a smaller Mark 4 set seen as they have loads to play around with.

Thomas J Stamp 08-09-2014 14:08

there are a lot of "ifs" going on.

the reason mk4's were taken off the cork run = irish rail have failed to market the mark4's properly and to keep them to a standard (not that hard BTW) which makes them more attractive to the 22k.

the reason why there is a 3 car 22k set (!) running between dublin/cork is because irish rail have failed to market the route properly.

then again, this is the company that used to run a suburban railcar non stop on that route.

the reason why irish rail are losing out on the enterprise route is because they can. any other business would react, and react swiftly, irish rail hasnt because it doesnt need to.

if senior management in irish rail was told by one of our minsters for transport that they would be sacked if there was no demonstrable and effective improvement in the service and thew returns from it - and sacked with no pension pot to boot - you can bet your bottom dollar that a lot of these problems would vanish.

but it is not in the irish public service ethos to hire someone with a goal to actually do something concrete and that if they do not do it they get the boot. better for it to be vague and woolly.

after all, we do have two ministers for transport, and NI has one. maybe between the three of them they can come up with a brainwave.

but, not, you know, this year. maybe next year, maybe.

ACustomer 08-09-2014 20:26

Thomas J Stamp: I couldn’t agree more. The sheer sloppiness and laziness of Irish Rail management is truly scandalous. To re-emphasise what you said about the MK4s, all Cork Services should have 1st class or premium accommodation, surely the basis for getting a good deal of fairly high-yield business traffic.

Now (apart from one or two morning and evening trains in each direction), the provision of premium accommodation is a bit of a random event. Last time I looked, the online timetable and the printed timetable (leaflet or pdf) had inconsistent information on first class services. Furthermore there is little or no attempt to provide the anything to attract custom, such as complimentary tea or coffee which you get on other railways, and the fare structure seems to have little rationale.

The contrast with the Enterprise, where there is some attempt to provide a consistent level of service which justifies the fare, is truly revealing and scandalous.

All down to a couldn’t care less attitude of management

Thomas J Stamp 09-09-2014 09:09

as someone who was a regular user of the business class offerings from irish rail over the years i simply cannot justify the expense to my employers for what i get on the premium section of a 22k.

the fact that i can drive from templemore/roscrea to dublin and back and pay for parking for less than the ticket is something which is also a factor, its is cheaper to claim travel expenses using the car.

even the old version of 22k premium - the top half of the first car of a mark3 - was a much better service, better seats that dont numb your arse off, and a food service brought to your table. for those extra premium services people pay premium money. that used to be a major selling point, but it isnt anymore and the business has gone elsewhere. the same will happen with enterprise and they will be looking at cutting the service and before you know it there will be 3 car 22ks up and down to belfast with metaphoric white flags on top.

instead of cutbacks there should be fightbacks, but that isnt in the irish rail mindset at all.

dowlingm 09-09-2014 17:10

I was thinking of Dundalk-Drogheda as the first 100mph section as there are far fewer non-revenue/freight movements. I know there are significant challenges especially up north but it would lay down a marker.

Given that the Mark 4 DVT is non-revenue, can a DVT set operate to both Central and Connolly with 8 revenue coaches properly on the platform, as Enterprise DDs do (albeit with both nonrevenue elements, DVT & loco, at the same end)

Jamie2k9 09-09-2014 17:59

Can the DD operate at 100 mph (201 can), I think they may be limited to 90. Recall reading something about it but not sure how correct it is.

Mark Gleeson 09-09-2014 18:36

90mph service, 100 mph design

Been at close to 100mph its ok

dowlingm 10-09-2014 16:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by dowlingm (Post 74893)
Given that the Mark 4 DVT is non-revenue, can a DVT set operate to both Central and Connolly with 8 revenue coaches properly on the platform, as Enterprise DDs do (albeit with both nonrevenue elements, DVT & loco, at the same end)

meant EGV and loco in the last sentence there.

James Howard 10-09-2014 18:23

Does premium accommodation pay off on either route? As I pretty much live on the Sligo train which hasn't had first class for at least 15 years, I don't get to travel to Cork or Belfast often. But given that the extra cost for first class on either service seems to be less than double that for standard it seems unlikely that it is terribly worth their while to provide it, except possibly as a sop to the elusive "business traveler" which is a particularly endangered species these days.

What is utterly pointless is the alleged first class on the 22Ks. It would be better to not describe this as such at all as at least then it would be clear from the timetable which services had real first class. To me, a first class ticket means a bigger seat and perhaps some form of meal at seat service. The most important thing is the bigger seat and if that isn't part of the offering, then it is false advertising.

Back when they had it I used to almost always travel first class on the Sligo line. As there was no way to book it and it was only a £3 supplement anyway, it was relatively rare that the ticket collector got to check the ticket before Edgeworthstown. But I can't imagine Irish Rail ever made any money off it given that when the ticket collector made it, he generally ended up chucking out all but two or three people who were willing to pay the supplement. I guess that's why they did away with it.

Jamie2k9 10-09-2014 21:40

Quote:

Does premium accommodation pay off on either route? As I pretty much live on the Sligo train which hasn't had first class for at least 15 years, I don't get to travel to Cork or Belfast often. But given that the extra cost for first class on either service seems to be less than double that for standard it seems unlikely that it is terribly worth their while to provide it, except possibly as a sop to the elusive "business traveler" which is a particularly endangered species these days.

What is utterly pointless is the alleged first class on the 22Ks. It would be better to not describe this as such at all as at least then it would be clear from the timetable which services had real first class. To me, a first class ticket means a bigger seat and perhaps some form of meal at seat service. The most important thing is the bigger seat and if that isn't part of the offering, then it is false advertising.

Back when they had it I used to almost always travel first class on the Sligo line. As there was no way to book it and it was only a £3 supplement anyway, it was relatively rare that the ticket collector got to check the ticket before Edgeworthstown. But I can't imagine Irish Rail ever made any money off it given that when the ticket collector made it, he generally ended up chucking out all but two or three people who were willing to pay the supplement. I guess that's why they did away with it.
On the busy trains ex Cork and Belfast its usually does ok. Middle of the day services not so much. The only ICR route that does any sort of decent business is direct Tralee service. Minimal uptake on other routes. I don't think you would get more than 50-60% loaded on any service however the fare revenue probably justifies the service on those 3 routes.

Thomas J Stamp 11-09-2014 11:08

there is a business class growth capability on cork/dublin/belfast not anywhere else atm because the premium area of the 22k is laughable.

what IE really have to do is a sales blitz. none of this 7 days out €10 ticket rubbish which still leaves you with loads of empty seats. they should get people back onto the intercity service by literally flogging every seat on every train for a month for a tenner. walk up to your station, get the ticket, sod off.

get them on board, show them what they are missing, sell the bloody thing.

when the month is over bring something else in, half price tickets, multi use tickets, anything to get more people in and get them to stay.

local leisure centre does discounted membership a few times a year, they do discounted term membership too. they do it because they know that the walk in price results in less repeat patronage but a cheap bulk offer after a term reduction works.

this aul ****e of book online a week in advance is just a token gesture. sure it used to be three days in advance. wonder why they changed that....

James Howard 11-09-2014 12:55

There are three potential reasons for anybody to travel by train - speed, comfort and price. The train is hardly ever going to be beat the bus on price but as long as it remains comparable with driving, people who want to get a bit of work done while travelling will use it. The price of walk-up train tickets isn't a particular problem in Ireland. They are a lot cheaper than in the UK and broadly comparable to most places in Europe. The price of season tickets in Ireland - particularly once you go outside the Dublin or Cork commuter zones is getting to be a major problem if you don't have access to Taxsaver.

Speed is mostly gone as an advantage unless you are lucky enough that your origin or destination is right by a railway station or in Dublin city centre.

Comfort (and amenities) is the only factor where the train has an unambiguous advantage over any other way of travelling except where Irish rail throw that away by using commuter railcars on long-distance journeys and this is probably the main place where Irish Rail should focus. A 22k railcar isn't a bad place to spend 3 hours - it is certainly far more comfortable than standard class on a Pendalino.

But Irish Rail are very weak on amenities. On the peak Sligo morning and evening services only half of the train has any access to refreshments at any one time and it isn't possible to buy any hot food of any kind. This isn't really on for a 3 hour train journey that straddles meal times (breakfast in the morning, dinner in the evening). While they wouldn't necessarily make any money directly off selling a few breakfast Panini and perhaps some real coffee, it would attract business particularly from the far end of the line where things are very thin.

Thomas J Stamp 11-09-2014 13:37

the fact that Irish Rail is or isnt price competitive for walk up compared to the uk is not relevant, €45 is relevant.

speed has to be improved, irish rail says it, the DoT says it, everyone says it, nobody is doing it. however you still have to compare timings in a fair way. its fair enough to state that you can drive more or less from most places to "dublin" as fast as the train, but "dublin" usually means the m50. after that you are in bother. With the BDX and the mooted movement of some extra bus routes to Heuston this may be the best solution we have.

amenities are the strong point of rail travel, again everyone knows that (cant say I agree on a 22k being a good place to spend 3 hours) but Irish Rail have cut that part of their service to the bones, because they couldn't make it work.

Stanardisation is all very well, but dropping standards at the same time is another thing altogether.

Mark Gleeson 11-09-2014 14:25

To be fair a 22K wins hands down in standard compared to the current Dublin Belfast sets

A Mk4 makes a lot more sense as it matches the existing setup

Refurb could turn things around

Instead of
DVT First + First + Buffet + 4 Standards + Gen

You could have
DVT Standard + 4 Standards + Buffet + First + Gen

Certainly no need for 70+ seats in First as is currently the case

dowlingm 11-09-2014 15:32

VIA Rail Canada is replacing 2+2 Business setups on their corridor trains with the 2+1 it had on some other coaches. I think the rationale is that a lot of their travellers are solo and don't want to share space for various reasons, including confidential papers.


At the same time, it doesn't matter how comfy it is if you can't get there in time. It seems to me that IE and NIR prioritise commuter over Enterprise and a move to have the first Newry-Central and Newry-Connolly services become full length business oriented service is likely to be resisted.

Thomas J Stamp 11-09-2014 15:57

that is a long standing problem, but a bit of imagination goes a long way. they can re-organise things, it is not as if, even if there was an enterprise each way per hour, there is a massive amount of them to be fitted in.

at the moment the number of services can be accounted for. its not like DART is a proper service anyway.

Thomas J Stamp 11-09-2014 16:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson (Post 74919)
To be fair a 22K wins hands down in standard compared to the current Dublin Belfast sets

given the age difference you would hope so. to use a bus comparison i see the DD's and the Mk4s like a coach and the 22k as a city bus. i find the seating too basic and bland, i think there is way too much plastic too, its bright, the seats line up, but it looks cheap


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