Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson
Translink were consulted, they had to provide the paths for the service and agree to the increase on Sunday.
Both IE and NIR management have been asked over and over again to get a train to Dublin before 0845, its a serious business need to do this. Equally the ask for a train to Belfast before 9am has been made numerous times (0610 would work fine...)
NIR its their problem to provide a connecting train
No amount of improvement would get the 0650 to Dublin for 0845, just not possible, non stop, nothing in the way 1 hour 43 is the current benchmark, add in 4 stops, you are over 2 hours
Its very obvious how much slower the train is once in Northern Ireland, its painfully slow, while Dublin Dundalk is always a fairly swift trip, basically an unbroken 90 mph railway north of Malahide bar the stations in Drogheda and Dundalk
So what is the strategy for the Enterprise and longer distance commuters (Donabate to Newry) on the Dublin/Belfast line - the evidence of recent timetables and this proposal is that the users of these services can expect an incrementally degraded service which will culminate in a DART extension to Balbriggan or Drogheda with even slower journey times. There needs to be a published strategy and an honesty about what is intended.
It is clear that the current direction will deliver a service that is increasingly less relevant beyond Malahide and which will carry a fraction of the numbers which could be carried with even modest investment in strategically placed multiple tracking and/or overtaking loops.
No question about an earlier arrival from Belfast, obvious answer is an additional service, maybe 0605 and 0705 from Belfast and yes an 0610 from Dublin.
Not sure what you mean about NIR having a responsibility to provide a connecting service.
Previous Belfast to Dublin schedules had a journey time of an 1hr-45 minutes with one stop. Time to understand why this is now impossible and to address the issues. Maybe 100mph running over significant sections of the route would help and should be achievable at very modest coat - in many instances just changing the 90 mph boards might be all that is required.