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Unread 11-11-2012, 21:59   #1
KSW
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Default 13.45 Dublin Connolly Rosslare

First time I've traveled on the train for over a year. I got it so wrong in Dublin thinking there was a bus to Gorey at 13.30 so I took the train instead. I bought my single way ticket for 18.50 single way I was completely shocked is this the price for a single ticket to Gorey nowadays. The train was three carriages with no PA onboard it took 1hr45mins to get to Gorey I was shocked as the bus takes 1h(-)20mins @14.00 single way. The train left Connolly exactly 13.45 but crawled the entire way to Sandymount level crossing from there to Dun Laoghaire just 3mins was very impressed by that.The train just felt so long than the bus today when I first sat in the seats I was shocked at how low and uncomfortable they are versus the bus. The seats are shocking they don't even pull back instead in that one concrete position. Just a really long journey am I paying the extra 4.50 for the extra length of the journey or what ) I couldn't get comfortable in those seats for the life of me today I don't get why people use the train on this line.. I would love to ask will there be improvements on this line but I really can't see how unless the Cork MIV cork takes the line with its comfort.... Any improvements on speed or even knowing where I am.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 08:32   #2
Inniskeen
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The Dublin/Rosslare suffers from a series of handicaps
  • The DART service pattern (in particular the half-hourly service to Greystones on Mondays to Fridays) which forces Rosslare services in both directions to follow DART services to/from Greystones. It is routine for Rosslare services to depart Dublin 2-3 minutes after an all stations DART.

  • The signalling system has been downgraded so that potentially faster trains are forced to proceed at DART pace through the level crossings between Lansdowne Road and Merrion - in some ways this is a logical change as there is usually a DART immediately ahead. Even when there isn't a DART directly ahead (as yesterday), the Rosslare service is forced to crawl through the five level crossings.

  • The lack of suitable infrastructure prevents Rosslare trains overtaking DARTs - the minimum additional infrastructure required is a pair of crossovers at the south end of Dun Laoghaire.

  • Irish Rail appear to have no strategic plan for the Rosslare route and as on other lines have made no significant attempt to exploit upgraded infrastructure to provide journey time reductions.

As regards comfort, this is a somewhat subjective topic - personally I find the ICRs more comfortable than than the MK4s !

Last edited by Inniskeen : 12-11-2012 at 08:38.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 10:20   #3
Mark Gleeson
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Even without a DART in the way it is always a crawl outbound due the level crossings as they can't be sequenced to give a clear run, nothing new in that its been like that for 28 years, inbound you can be lucky if you get a run at Merrion Gates. Even with a quick run out arrival at Dun Laoghaire is still not caught up with the DART in front

Dreams of wrong line running are just that dreams, its not possible, its not practical and the time saving is so tiny for what would cost multiple millions to install the hardware for and would only work for a very very similar number of timetable permutations

Far more realistic to look for 90-100mph running south of Gorey which looks practical and can be delivered for little outlay

The two pinch points are Bray, where a train to Greystones cannot depart as one arrives from Greystones due the track layout and Greystones where again it is not possible for trains to arrive simultaneously
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Unread 12-11-2012, 12:16   #4
Inniskeen
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The level crossings most explicitly haven't been "like that for 28 years" and absolutely can be sequenced to give a clear run - the signalling system is capable of distinguishing between fast and slow services. Irish Rail disabled or ceased to use the feature only within the last few years.

I am not suggesting wrong line running as such, I am merely suggesting pausing DARTs in Dun Laoghaire for a few minutes to allow faster services take precedence. In the southbound direction, based on the current timetable, it would be generally possible to route southbound DARTs to the northbound platform and have a full 9 minutes before the next northbound train. Similar scenarario applies in the nortbound direction, northbound DART through the southbound platform with a full 6 minutes before the next southbound train. Its not a perfect solution but would save around ten minutes between Dun Laoghaire and Bray southbound and around the same between Dun Laoghaire and Pearse northbound.

Yes I agree trains should be running at increased speeds south of Greystones (rather than Gorey !) although this should be in addition to other measures rather than an alternative.

The major issue is DART, specifically the half hourly service pattern to Greystones and the elongated DART journey times which have become standard in recent recent years. A DART performance review is long overdue to understand how journey times could be reduced. Even a few minutes reduction would reduce congestion considerably. Are stations stops of one one minute really necessary to load/offload a few tens of passengers. Is it really necessary for trains to crawl along from Williamstown to Booterstown ? Why is the speed limit on the southbound line between Dun Laoghaire and Sandycove still 20 mph ? Is it really necessary to crawl into Bray - afterall ther are no buffer stops to collide with ! Etc Etc Etc

Incidentally, prior to the DART upgrade northbound Rosslare trains could easily over-take six-car DART trains (and often did) at Dun Laoghaire but the loop was removed to facilitate the extension of the northbound platform. The crossover at the sout end of the station was removed in connection with the yet to be completed removal of the slab track.

Irish Rail are in a dreamworld if they think the current Rosslare line offering is going to either grow or sustain business.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 13:12   #5
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The scope for high speeds south of Greystones are very limited as the line is full of curves, south of Arklow and more so south of Gorey the line straightens out and you have the long section Enniscorthy Wexford

Level crossing wise if you hit at the perfect moment its possible to accelerate to 60mph once past BN21 at Sandymount, provided you don't get caught by the level crossing procedures which is impacted by trains going the other way

In olden times there was no safety interlock with the gates so you could hurl the train towards them with zero margin for error

All that said best time today is 20-25 minutes better than the baseline year of 1973

I've routinely done Dun Laoghaire Pearse in 10 minutes flat for a little over 6 miles
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Unread 12-11-2012, 14:42   #6
Inniskeen
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Track geometry between Greystones and Rathdrum doesn't preclude speed well into the 80s, likewise Arklow to Enniscorthy. Lots of curvature Enniscorthy/Wexford and Rathdrum/Arklow restricts potential speeds at variuous locations.

As regards the level crossings Irish Rail have chosen to operate them in a manner which greatly restricts speed due to deliberately delayed initiation of the crossing closure sequence. Only chance of a clear run occurs when trains in the opposite direction have already triggered the crossing closure sequence.

"In olden times there was no safety interlock with the gates so you could hurl the train towards them with zero margin for error"

Not sure what this means. If anything, safety overlaps have reduced in modern signalling systems, rather than increased. Typical requirement in olden times was 440 yards clear of an obstruction, typical requirement today is 220 meters. Level crossing gates closing across a railway line have been worked in conjunction with the with signalling system since at least the latter part of the 19th century. Zero margin for error has never been a principle of Irish signalling practice, either before or after 1922.

When did the baseline year become 1973. The Operational Program for Transport 1994-1999 indicated that the Dublin/Rosslare journey time would be 2hrs-35 minutes in either direction within the program period. Since then the line has been almost totally renewed yet the journey time doesn't even meet the 1994/99 target and is both uncompetitive and much slower than it needs to be.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 12-11-2012 at 14:54.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 15:40   #7
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Overlap at a level crossing was virtually non existant, interlocking of gates and signalling is a fairly new feature as well. Merrion was routinely struck by trains back in the steam era.

Reality is due to the commercial need to maintain a 15 minute DART interval it won't be of any help to fly through the level crossings as the best case is a 8 minute shorter journey than a DART service
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Unread 12-11-2012, 16:28   #8
Inniskeen
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In simple terms level crossings traditionally interacted with signalling systems as follows.

Gates not closing across the railway

These were typically unsignalled and un-interlocked. Hundreds of such crossings still exist.

Gates closing across the railway.

Generally speaking it was necessary for the signalman controlling entry to the section containg the level crossing to contact the crossing keeper and advise that a train was about to enter the section. The crossing keeper would then close the crossing gates to road traffic. If the signalman could not make contact with the crossing keeper an approaching train would have to be cautioned to expect the gates to be closed. In addition as time progressed distant and stop signals were increasing provided at busier crossings, especially in urban areas.

At Merrion, Sydney Parade, Sandymount, Serpentine and Lansdowne Road there were signal boxes provided and the signalling was absolutely interlocked with the level crossings long before DART was even a pipe-dream. The fact that a signal may have been immediately beside a level crossing didn't necessarily mean that a train could approach that signal with the crossing gates closed. Typically a train would be allowed approach only when the gates were open for the railway and when stopped the gates could be closed again if the train was not going to proceed immediately. Pretty much the same applies today except that the signals and level crossings are are centrally monitored.

Merrion may well have been struck by trains in the steam era but it was certainly not routine and would have been the subject of at least a company inquiry. Similar to a SPAD these days. I wouldn't describe SPADS as routine but they do happen.

No issue with a 15 minute interval DART service, but the current journey time severely impacts on other services and needs to be improved. Ideally Rosslare trains would depart Connolly just ahead of a DART, serve Pearse and Dun Laoghaire and arrive in Bray just behind the previous DART without being delayed by it. Journey time for the diesel 25 minutes, for the DART 38 minutes. This or something similar worked reasonably well for at least fifteen years until DART journey times were extended. The problem for Rosslare trains was subsequently further compounded by the regular interval Greystones service and the removal of infrastructure at Dun Laoghaire.

It is the 30 minute interval Greystones service that is incompatible with a reasonable journey time for Rosslare services to/from Greystones, not the 15 minute interval Bray service. Probably could be sorted if there was a will to do so.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 12-11-2012 at 16:37.
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