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-   -   Intercity journey experiences (http://www.railusers.ie/forum/showthread.php?t=193)

comcor 12-04-2010 11:45

One thing I forgot to include there.

My ticket, which was issued by the collection machine in Kent Station at around 6:10am, failed at the barriers at Heuston at 9:10am. It had been kept in my shirt breast pocket the whole time, so hadn't been subject to any extreme conditions.

I don't know if that's a rarity or a more regular problem.

Sealink 12-04-2010 11:54

Limerick to Limerick Junction
 
Limerick to Limerick Junction

Limerick Station is another that has improved since my last visit - which was in the late 80s.



My day continued, with a chance to spend some time at Limerick Junction, a station I have only ever travelled through.

I was surprised to find that I was boarding the same train I had alighted from 50 minutes previously, the very one that had taken me from Galway. I think it waits 50 minutes because to make a better connection at Limerick Junction for the Cork service.


Three people, myself included, boarded.

No ticket checks on the train, but I did get my favourite picture of the trip at Limerick Junction.



Next trip... Limerick Junction to Cork.

Thomas Ralph 12-04-2010 13:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by comcor (Post 55221)
One thing I forgot to include there.

My ticket, which was issued by the collection machine in Kent Station at around 6:10am, failed at the barriers at Heuston at 9:10am. It had been kept in my shirt breast pocket the whole time, so hadn't been subject to any extreme conditions.

I don't know if that's a rarity or a more regular problem.

There are several ticket collection machines which don't encode the magnetic stripe.

Mark Gleeson 12-04-2010 13:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Ralph (Post 55229)
There are several ticket collection machines which don't encode the magnetic stripe.

That will be sorted in the next few weeks, every machine in Cork will be able to handle collections. The existing collection machines will be taken out to have coin/cash equipment installed as they currently only have credit card ability

It does depend on the correct ticket type being used, the multicolor reservation tickets cannot be encoded, the plain white/brown ones can

PLUMB LOCO 12-04-2010 14:20

Sealink - excellent couple of posts there. Illustrated descriptions of journeys undertaken on the network are just what is needed to add a bit of life to this site as well as being an excellent way of highlighting good and bad points. If I ever get the chance to escape from the Sunny South East you can rely on me for something similar - warts and all!

Sealink 12-04-2010 15:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by PLUMB LOCO (Post 55240)
Sealink - excellent couple of posts there. Illustrated descriptions of journeys undertaken on the network are just what is needed to add a bit of life to this site as well as being an excellent way of highlighting good and bad points. If I ever get the chance to escape from the Sunny South East you can rely on me for something similar - warts and all!

Thank you very much. I have updated my Dublin - Galway report as I had forgotten the pics for that one.

Sealink 13-04-2010 00:00

Limerick Junction - Cork Sunday 4 October.

The departure from Limerick Junction was late, there were no announcements at Limerick Junction; a rather cold day and the long platform made it feel a rather desolate station. It did have a nice waiting room however and it was staffed. There were three passengers waiting on the platform, including me.


Even looking at this pictures makes me feel cold!


The Cork train arrived and I found a seat in an empty table of four and settled down for the journey. The seats on this train didn't line up quite the same as the Galway one, but you could still see the scenery.


Again, it was uneventful - there were announcements to say not to sit in pre-reserved seats, but at this point in the journey no trolley service, and no ticket check.

We arrived in Cork on time or late, I didn't know, and I was suitably impressed with Cork station. More on this in my final leg : Cork to Dublin.

Sealink 17-04-2010 15:32

Cork - Dublin Heuston 04 April 2010

So my last journey of the day (excepting a dander around Dublin and a packed DART from Tara Street to Lansdowne Road)...

First impression of Cork station: good. Further impressions: good. Several ticket machines, coffee shop and Everything a mainline station should be: bright and airy, and a big steam engine!






I had a while to have a wander around the station, it's a lovely redbrick affair with some "retro" features...



My carriage awaits...




It was the train that I had just arrived on from Limerick Junction. On the return journey, I decided to try First Class, the ticket office told me just to pay the supplement on the train.

The tickets were checked at the barrier in Cork, resulting in quite a queue, and I was directed to one of the Standard Class coaches. I explained that I wanted to pay for first class and was then directed to the front of the train.

I think IE, like UK rail companies, missed a trick here, by not mentioning the upgrade at any time during the call for boarding or any publicity at the station. The First Class carriage was virtually empty, but worse was to come...!

So I settled in to my seat, pleased that there were power sockets, and surprised to find audio channels (although only one channel worked).



I liked the aqua theme on the train, it felt very relaxing.



Very soon we were on our way, and I spent far too long trying to take artistic photographs... ;-)



Some train announcements followed: don't sit in seats with reservations attached, a list of stops and then one to say that the buffet/shop was open. There was no trolley service which was a shame but I made my way to the buffet area and ordered a cheeseburger and a beer, the burger was quite tastey given it was a microwave job and was served with plentiful condiments. The server was alright, not especially friendly. I don't expect conversation but maybe a smile would be nice?

I settled back in my seat for the rest of the journey, waiting for the ticket inspection and the chance to pay the upgrade supplement.

Which never occurred. No one visited the first class carriage, and even when I disembarked at Heuston, there were no staff to be seen.

I had paid 100.00 for my three days of DART and InterCity rail services. Excellent value, but IE didn't want my extra 20.00 :rolleyes:

I enjoyed my experiences, something I want to repeat on different lines again, I felt that with IE, there was something lacking. I am not sure if staff morale is good or not, but the whole experience felt very functional, none of the IE staff I encountered smiled, a bit like Ryanair in that regard.

But that wouldn't put me off using them again - every train I was on was on time, give or take a minute, I think the customer service could be better. (Still a lot better than I encountered on Irish Ferries, who didn't seem to have an Irish member of staff amongst them!).

The next day I went to Dublin Airport the long way: DART to Malahide and bus from there to the airport. Malahide station is very pretty.

Finally, a quick comparison to show that it isn't all bad on IE.




Cramped, isn't it? And it smells of loo. And the seat reservation displays rarely work. This is the First Class compartment on a Virgin Train. Virgin operate on the West Coast Mainline with these new trains.

THE END!

PS: This is Irish Rail's "dodgy" leaflet image promoting the Trekker ticket. I am sure they could do better than this!

Colm Moore 17-04-2010 19:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sealink (Post 55397)
But that wouldn't put me off using them again - every train I was on was on time, give or take a minute, I think the customer service could be better. (Still a lot better than I encountered on Irish Ferries, who didn't seem to have an Irish member of staff amongst them!).

Essentially they don't. Although I would have thought that would improved things.

http://www.google.ie/#hl=en&source=h...ef7398de6bf56f

PLUMB LOCO 25-04-2010 21:49

Had the dubious pleasure of travelling on the 10.25 Enniscorthy/Connolly ICR this morning and while I appreciate the greatly reduced engine noise and generally better layout of the carriages I was somewhat alarmed by the filth of the carpets throughout the set - both in the central gangway and under the tables. Beer stains and gum much in evidence. On the return trip I boarded in Dun Laoghaire and attempted to wash the childrens' hands (contaminated by the filth in Dun Laoghaire station) - no water - somethings never change. Incidentally, this was my first visit to a 22000 toilet and I was left wondering were they designed for dwarves? In some ways, while being a damn sight better than the 'commuter' railcars they replaced, the 22000s are a continuation of CIE/IEs ongoing quest for aesthetics over utilty. I also noted that Rathdrum (unmanned) is experiencing an attack from the village idiot grafitti artists - can anything be done?

Thomas Ralph 26-04-2010 09:58

I went first-class on the 1800 Heuston-Cork on Friday evening. Had four ticket checks before the train even got going (ticket barrier, entrance to platform, train host at entrance to carriage A, and RPU almost before I sat down; perhaps I wasn't dressed well enough :P). The RPU guy was feverishly writing out 20 upgrades on his book of excess fares; only four seats had been booked but there was around a dozen seats taken in the end (occupancy a smidgen over 25%).

The steward brought food menus shortly after setting off although after a large lunch I didn't partake. He spent most of the time serving incessant tea to the four businessmen opposite me.

Train host was parked in A44 for 95% of the journey reading magazines. She did walk down the train once in a high-vis jacket, and came back shortly later.

There were no serious problems or issues (and the lack of vile children in first class was a major plus) and the train arrived in 15 minutes early.

Thomas Ralph 26-04-2010 10:06

I also went back first-class on the 1730 Cork-Heuston yesterday. There was no ticket checker available for the gate in Cork, so a booking office staff member inspected but did not stamp tickets. There was also no ticket check on the train; the train host did check tickets of people going into first class but it did not appear that upgrade fares were collected from passengers wishing to upgrade. I was not directed to any carriage.

There was snack service only with one staff member, so the trolley operated and when it was finished the attendant opened the snack bar.

The train host made a few announcements from time to time and walked the train a couple of times. There was some child with her from Cork-Mallow and she sat in first class playing with the child.

Another agreeable and uneventful journey, and the train arrived in 12 minutes early. I notice that all the Cork-Dublin trains on Sundays run non-stop from Thurles to Heuston (or in some cases from Limerick Junction to Heuston) and this is a practice that the rest of the timetable could do with.

comcor 26-04-2010 10:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Ralph (Post 55703)
Another agreeable and uneventful journey, and the train arrived in 12 minutes early. I notice that all the Cork-Dublin trains on Sundays run non-stop from Thurles to Heuston (or in some cases from Limerick Junction to Heuston) and this is a practice that the rest of the timetable could do with.

There should really only ever be 3 stops on Dublin-Cork

One of Thurles/Port Laoise/Portarlington
Limerick Junction
Mallow

The last two are needed because of connections for Kerry and Limerick.

For the first one I would suggest alternating between Thurles and Port Laoise, with maybe 2 a day stopping in Portarlington to link with Mayo-bound trains. (Cork-Mayo via Portarlington is competitive with road-based alternatives, Cork-Galway via Portarlington isn't).

I'm not sure what should be done with Charleville. Ideally, there would be a way for Charleville-Dublin passengers to switch trains in Limerick Junction, but that would require some sort of Cork-Limerick or Cork-Thurles local service.

Mark Gleeson 26-04-2010 10:40

10:00 Dublin - Limerick Junction (Cork) Sat 24th

Rather uneventful but the usual problems. The ride was as always the usual Mk4 flop around and the seats are a serious downgrade compared to the ICR fleet.

The train host, well the person who looked to be the train host did walk through several times, but wore a hi vis jacket, no sign of any name badge and wasn't wearing the correct tie, shirt etc so did match the expected train host image. The ticket checker vanished into coach F or G and didn't surface again

Manual PA was inaudible, the inter carriage doors left open and by Limerick Junction the trolley had just arrived in coach E.

Performance wise, speed restrictions all over the place, and stopped in Portarlington due to a train ahead (we overtook an empty to Portlaoise before we stopped so odds are it was the trainspotters on their day out) There then followed a 5 minute wait outside Limerick Junction again with a totally inaudible PA

seamus kilcock 26-04-2010 22:00

IRRS special
 
Mark, I was on the IRRS special and we also overtook what was an 22000 set en route to the Portlaoise 22000 depot.
Incidentally the IRRS MK3 special was half minute ahead of schedule at the Lim Jct direct curve and from this I would deduce the IRRS special may not have been the reason the Heuston to Cork MK4 you were on being delayed.

Thomas Ralph 31-05-2010 16:31

I'm on the 1630 Cork-Heuston at the moment which has no more than a few passengers on board. Happened to get the Wi-fi train. There's an overeager RPU guy on board checking for joiners at every station. I'm in the quiet carriage; train host has passed through twice with someone talking on their phone and blissfully ignored them. Even the trolley attendant answered her phone here.

Thomas Ralph 31-05-2010 16:34

And as I speak the RPU guy is off to Limerick.

Colm Moore 31-05-2010 17:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Ralph (Post 56360)
I'm in the quiet carriage

I hope you aren't typing too loudly. :)

Thomas Ralph 31-05-2010 17:17

I'm on an iPod touch on silent, and I went out to the vestibule when I got a phone call ;) I have been involuntarily listening to a couple of people's conversations however :/

PLUMB LOCO 31-05-2010 17:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Ralph (Post 56363)
I'm on an iPod touch on silent, and I went out to the vestibule when I got a phone call ;) I have been involuntarily listening to a couple of people's conversations however :/

RPU ? :confused:


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