Originally Posted by James Howard
This morning's 0545 was quite late leaving Sligo so provided quite an interesting opportunity to see quite how much slack was in the timetable. Thanks to Irish Rail's excellent webservice, it's quite easy to check how A901 got on.
Here are the highlights
Left Sligo 0608 - 23 minutes late
Left Edgeworthstown 0720 - 13 minutes late
Left Enfield 0809 - 18 minutes late - stuck behind relief (about 10 minutes wait)
Arrived Connolly 0853 - 6 minutes late
I couldn't be accurate about the extra delay incurred at Enfield while we were stuck behind the relief train but I'd say it was of the order of 10 minutes making for a total of 33 minutes delays to the service. Yet it managed to recover all but 6 minutes of the delay on a service at the busiest time of that day that has no crossings to make.
Yet, they feel the need to add yet another 10 minutes to the running time of this service in the abandoned timetable.
Let's not get completely carried away here.
Looking at other trains, it's clear that the 08:18 from Maynooth was held until 08:26, to allow the Sligo a clear run.
The only trains ahead of it would have been the 07:55 from Maynooth and 08:10 from M3 Parkway, so the Sligo could have operated at full line speed for most of the route from Maynooth inbound, which I imagine it most certainly does not do typically?
Of course the timetable will have some recovery time built into it - there's a balance to be struck between offering a timetable that's the fastest possible and one that is achievable and can be delivered reliably.
It's possible that actual dwell times were reduced over the schedule as well to make up time.