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Unread 29-08-2011, 11:50   #1
EnterpriseUser
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Default Enterprise service

I travelled to Dublin yesterday on the 1000 Enterprise. The train was packed even in First where I was with my three children. The service was exemplary as I think this is now the sole service in these islands that offers hot cooked food at the weekend. I was very impressed with all the staff who coped extraordinarily well with their customers. The train manager ran the service very well and ensured all who had reserved seats got them and those who did not paid the upgrade fare. The cabin steward had worked the night before when First was packed on both the 1900 and 2050 services due to the rugby match. One wishes the Enterprise was faster; the aspiration in the 70s was 90 minutes non-stop. For me the fastest was 105 minutes on the 1800 non-stop service in the 80s although the booked time was 115 minutes the road ahead was clear and the 075 engine class demonstrated it's pedigree. Sadly such feats are frowned on as the tracks are busier and 'elf and safety rules all! Nonetheless the Enterprise is the best service going in these islands!
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Unread 29-08-2011, 13:15   #2
Mark Gleeson
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I fail to see the need to claim that Enterprise is somehow a wonderful service

It is the least reliable and least punctual line anywhere on this island and is a disgrace of a cross border service. The interior is consistently dirty announcements inaudible in the last carriage and customer service is ridiculously inconsistent. It is currently under investigation for multiple breeches of EU passenger rights regulations.

It doesn't look great to the outsider, especially when I had the production team of a UK TV show in tow recently. Much of the problem is down to the fact its a joint operation and no one seems willing to take the leap to improve matters.

Try booking a standard class seat from Belfast, you can't, you could in 1947 you can't today
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Unread 29-08-2011, 14:38   #3
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Mark: that's not my experience with the Enterprise and I use it every second week. We know the limitations but for my money it is consistently more reliable than any other IE service.
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Unread 18-10-2011, 23:45   #4
JayneM
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I may be a bit late to this one, but I have to jump in here. I used to be a daily Enterprise commuter for 4 years and am now a Drogheda/ Balbriggan line communter. I absolutely agree with everything Mark said. While I was travelling on the Enterprise there wasn't a week that went by without some sort of delay, security alerts and otherwise, and at least once every three weeks there was a significant delay. Rarely was any information given to passengers. While it has improved in some ways - gone is the long winding boarding queue at Connolly and the makeshift hut at Newry - the last time I was on it I very nearly missed an important meeting due to a delay and the upholstery was so worn I would feel the metal underneath.

While the Drogheda line is far from perfect itself I have experienced nowhere near the same amount of delays since I have been using it. Although something could be done about the overcrowding, especially during rush hour - the 17.29 (now 17.35?) ex Connolly in particular.
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Unread 31-10-2011, 05:12   #5
raveon
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In a submission to the North South Ministerial Council in November 2007, JBC called on the two Governments to set out a development strategy aimed at securing much needed improvements in service performance on the enterprise cross-border rail service linking Dublin and Belfast.
An immediate problem that needs to be addressed is service reliability, a particular concern for business travellers. While the published figures on on-time performance indicate some improvement, far too often services are subject to long delays of up to and even exceeding an hour. These performance issues need to be addressed by the operators in the short-term if the service is to maintain the confidence of users.
In relation to the enterprise service generally, figures set out in the submission indicate modest growth in traffic levels with passenger numbers up by 2% in 2006.
However, the JBC submission points out that this is against the background of a long term trend of strong growth in cross border road traffic which has grown by 85% over a decade, corresponding to an annual average growth rate of over 6%. Taken together, the figures on rail patronage and road traffic lead to the conclusion that the number of cross border trips is growing strongly but that the rail share is being eroded.
JBC also point out that current journey times at 130 minutes are not competitive against journey times by road. If the enterprise service were to operate at the average speed currently achieved on other mainline services, journey time would be reduced by 15% to 110 mins. The introduction of non stop services would reduce journey times even further to around 100 minutes – a reduction of around one third on today’s performance.
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Unread 23-11-2011, 01:18   #6
Colm Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raveon View Post
JBC
What is this?
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Unread 22-11-2011, 20:53   #7
joey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayneM View Post
I may be a bit late to this one, but I have to jump in here. I used to be a daily Enterprise commuter for 4 years and am now a Drogheda/ Balbriggan line communter. I absolutely agree with everything Mark said. While I was travelling on the Enterprise there wasn't a week that went by without some sort of delay, security alerts and otherwise, and at least once every three weeks there was a significant delay. Rarely was any information given to passengers. While it has improved in some ways - gone is the long winding boarding queue at Connolly and the makeshift hut at Newry - the last time I was on it I very nearly missed an important meeting due to a delay and the upholstery was so worn I would feel the metal underneath.

While the Drogheda line is far from perfect itself I have experienced nowhere near the same amount of delays since I have been using it. Although something could be done about the overcrowding, especially during rush hour - the 17.29 (now 17.35?) ex Connolly in particular.
sounds like its a case of IR making sure the commuter runs true and allowing the enterprise to be second, even third behind these commuter trains sharing the same line and the DART.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 14:54   #8
dowlingm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joey View Post
sounds like its a case of IR making sure the commuter runs true and allowing the enterprise to be second, even third behind these commuter trains sharing the same line and the DART.
Reply to an old post I know but we actually know from the IE network statement that the Enterprise officially does have lower priority.
Quote:
Priority Order on Congested Infrastructure
Dublin Border
1 DART
2 Commuter
3 Intercity (Enterprise)
4 Freight
5 Infrastructure
So you won't get held for a tamper or a Tara but that's about it, on paper at least.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 14:05   #9
joey
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Default Enterprise

Just completed a round trip on the Enterprise from Dublin to Belfast. I set out on Wednesday 13.20 and returned Thursday 10.35.

The train was jammed packed both ways even before it made it's first stop at Drogheda outbound Lisburn on the return. What is the need for two first class (plus) carriages when they are never filled? One would suffice with an extra carriage for standard fare pasengers, ended up standing much of the journey in the buffet car. The first class carriages were pretty much empty.

Seperately I must say, both of my journeys were on time and a smooth trip all round. However the three guards/inspectors on the train have a great time of it, they stood the whole journey in the buffet car chatting and laughing, I wasn't even asked for my ticket during the journey.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 20:09   #10
neoncircles
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I travelled on the Enterprise this weekend owing to the 9.99 each way fares. I usually get the bus but chanced the train this time.

After reading alot of stuff on here I was dreading that it would be an awful experience but it was actually quite pleasant.

Train packed on Sunday (1300 ex Connolly), train host up and down the train throughout the journey. Arrived exactly on time. Train much quieter down today (1410 train), train host visible again. Found it to be much much more comfortable than the MK4's. They are quite shabby inside but no other complaints. Ride quality in NI noticeably better.

Much better than the bus so will use again without doubt

Last edited by neoncircles : 05-06-2012 at 20:20.
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Unread 04-06-2013, 09:06   #11
joey
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Default Enterprise

I used the 1300ex Dublin on Sunday last. I booked my ticket on line through Irish Rail. The service was very busy, however I had my seat reserved and thankfully this worked out well - though getting to my seat in good time proved to be a good idea. When checking in IR staff made no mention to sit on my reserved seat, nor was there any anouncements to refrain from sitting in reserved seats for other patrons.
Even though this particular service was very busy, this was helped by the fact that there was a TRANSLINK hostess on board who made clear regular on-board greetings and meeted and greeted pretty much everyone, asking people had they connecting trains to meet at either Portadown or Belfast Central. The comfort is still OK, given the fact that these trains are now coming on 17 years old. A little bumpy on the way up particulary up as far as Dundalk. Given the service was very busy we made it to belfast a few minutes ahead of schedule which was great as I had a connecting train to meet on the Londonderry line onwards from Belfast Central. May I add the train on this service was of pure pleasure, comfort, cleaniness & speed!

I returned on the 2005ex Belfast on Monday night. A very much quieter journey. This seemed to be managed by Irish Rail staff, the host was rarely seen, there were no announcements of any nature throughout the journey, tickets were only checked after Drogheda at this stage the train was even quieter.

Overall I must confess and give credit, as I've said given the fact the trains are nearly twenty years old, the two journeys I made were reasonably comfortable, punctual and reliable on this occasion. Irish Rail staff could help by being more informative around seat reservations, and announcements made on the train.
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Unread 04-06-2013, 10:36   #12
Destructix
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Well just over 16 years old. The mk3's were just under 20 when they decided to replace them and given all the problems they are having with the De Dietrich sets they need to be withdrawn. Iarnród Éireann and Translink don't have the money to replace them or to even refurb them.
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Unread 04-06-2013, 11:36   #13
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They should start using all the spare 22K dormant in Portlaoise depot.
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Unread 04-06-2013, 12:01   #14
Jamie2k9
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They only have four spare sets of 22000 not a lot and not overly great for a Belfast service with no first class worth talking about. You could ask why don't NIR use their new trains. It's not just IE"s responsibility. It would also cost IE a lot more money unless NIR are going to pay to maintain the ICRs as they do the coaches on the enterprise. I don't see any need to replace them trains are still in good condition and any shakiness is track related more than train.
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