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Unread 10-08-2009, 08:31   #1
PLUMB LOCO
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Just caught report on defective MkIVs on this mornings programme. God aren't RTE hot sh..t - how many months has this story been running? As usual RTE gave Barry Kenny's half-truths an easy ride. The media have a lot to answer for with regard to the many problems facing Ireland today - I really do despair!!
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Unread 10-08-2009, 08:51   #2
Mark Gleeson
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I was interviewed for the Sunday Tribune months ago on this, sadly the journalist got a little excited

What has changed is in the last month proof positive that the Mk4 ride problem has a very significant relationship with the track. Irish Rail laid about 2.5 miles of new UIC60 track between Portlaoise and Portarlington and the difference is amazing the Mk4 ceases to flop around and vibrate, everything goes quiet and it just glides. It actually behaves like it should, like a modern European long distance train.

The as delivered train had massive faults which should have been dealt with before passengers where carried, yes suspension bolts snapped, others where sheared off and the secondary suspension actually made the bumps worse. The partition doors still haven't been fixed, the doors give trouble and the automatic announcement system still gives trouble.

And the coaches don't do 300,000km per annum, well the odometers are just crossing 900,000km after 3 years 8 months, even if they did they need to do 325,000km to keep the Mk3 set idle
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Unread 10-08-2009, 09:15   #3
ThomasJ
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Speaking of which!
http://www.tribune.ie/news/home-news...gers-sick-say/

Quote:

Irish Rail 'vomit comets' making passengers sick, say train-users
Mark Hilliard

Irish Rail: pressure group concerns

IRISH Rail has come under fire from train users for its continued problems with 'shaking' carriages on its flagship Dublin to Cork fleet, dubbed the 'vomit comets'.

The train authority has been accused of running carriages that make passengers physically ill and which have still not been put right some three years after their introduction.

The Rail Users Ireland (RUI) pressure group has criticised the company after it emerged it had gone to tender for further works on suspension to the trains which, they claim, have been dogged with problems since their introduction in 2006.

A tender published last month by the company referring to 67 coaches in all, noted: "The fleet is three years old and the ride-comfort of the vehicles requires improvement".

In a statement, Irish Rail said the issue had arisen from customer feedback and stressed that is "is purely a passenger comfort issue and has no operational consequences".

But according to RUI a group claiming to have over 100 members which has researched and travelled on trains throughout Europe, these have been ongoing problems.

"Trains are second only to aircraft in terms of being complicated at this stage," explained spokesman Mark Gleeson.

"It takes years to put them into service and they have to be certified. But all these problems occurred when the trains were put in service. There is a quality issue here."

The group has claimed that the shaking on the carriages had become so bad that management ordered the removal of curtains because their constant movement was causing motion sickness.

Referring to the launch of the trains in 2006, Gleeson said: "They shook and flopped from side to side, some people nicknamed it the 'vomit comet' because they couldn't physically walk up the car without being thrown from side to side.

"A lot of people were falling over as they were walking around. I was actually thrown across the coach once.

"On the day, the train shook violently and they said yes, we will fix it and tweak it but that was a long time ago; that was 2006 and the problems are still there."

The group maintains that central to the problem was the condition of the Dublin to Cork line itself and that in certain places temporary speed restrictions have been put in place.

Irish Rail says it maintains its tracks according to appropriate technical standards, in common with all major European railways.

The MK 4 fleet is the country's flagship service, and its busiest, operating from Dublin to Cork with some three million passengers using the service last year alone.

A statement from the company said: "Each train set has exceptionally high utilisation, clocking up at least 300,000km per year."


August 9, 2009
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Unread 10-08-2009, 09:40   #4
Mark Hennessy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUMB LOCO View Post
Just caught report on defective MkIVs on this mornings programme. God aren't RTE hot sh..t - how many months has this story been running? As usual RTE gave Barry Kenny's half-truths an easy ride. The media have a lot to answer for with regard to the many problems facing Ireland today - I really do despair!!
It's all back slappery when interviewing the semi states in RTE.

When have you ever heard them grill a politician Paxman style?

Wait till the soft focus pieces on NAMA are on RTE, instead of being a vehicle to bankrupt the country, it will hailed without any critical analysis.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 09:23   #5
Mark Gleeson
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Examiner, Red Fm Cork and Tipp FM so far today.

Its crazy, but finally Irish Rail are admitting its outside specification

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 11-08-2009 at 09:27.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 10:40   #6
comcor
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http://www.examiner.ie/ireland/ride-...ges-98447.html
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Unread 11-08-2009, 10:53   #7
Mark Gleeson
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Got to love Irish Rail, no no there is nothing wrong

1. Tender for a third party to assist. Surely thats CAF's call?
2. The Mk3/Mk4 test trains in June. Surely that should have been done 3 years ago
3. The new track between Portlaoise and Portarlington really exposes the poor track standard and what an excellent ride the Mk4 has on decent track

Given CAF replaced more or less everything in Dec 2006, the whole secondary suspension, altered design to prevent the wild swaying and raised the clearance between the secondary suspension air bag and coach underside to prevent the bolts being sliced off, its hard to see what more can be done.

Only one possible solution is fitting a damper on the coupler and to add a damper between the coach body and the bogie (other CAF products in UK have this) to calm the sway down.

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 11-08-2009 at 10:58.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 18:57   #8
Kilocharlie
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If the Cork-Dublin tracks are being upgraded and the Mk4 ride is excellent on the new tracks, is there any need to 'fix' the Mk4s?
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Unread 11-08-2009, 19:39   #9
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Originally Posted by Kilocharlie View Post
If the Cork-Dublin tracks are being upgraded and the Mk4 ride is excellent on the new tracks, is there any need to 'fix' the Mk4s?
The Mk4 ride is below the required standard regardless.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 20:59   #10
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I really didn't like the tone that the Irish Rail spokesperson took. He basically implied that Rail Users Ireland are a bunch of trainspotter cooks.

People expect a decent level of service, this is something that Irish Rail has very rarely managed to achieve over the years. Things have improved, but things like shakey trains need to be dealt with without sneering at the passengers who brought the problem to the media's attention.

The Cork-Dublin trains are too bumpy at the moment and the Enterprise is even worse.

I'm sure the companies who made both of these trains are very reputable and don't have these kinds of problems elsewhere, which leaves only one explanation - the tracks aren't smooth enough.

The older Mark 3 trains which used to operate on the Cork line are unusual, they were a British Rail design which was specified to work on shoddy tracks. A BR cost saving programme which avoided / postponed line upgrades in the UK in the 1970s/80s.

Last edited by MrX : 11-08-2009 at 21:03.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 21:14   #11
Mark Gleeson
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The graphs don't lie, the Mk4 has a problem

Barry can't have it both ways, there is a problem and complaining about us highlighting a real verifiable issue is cheap and unprofessional. Why isn't he giving out to CAF? Then again he could be acting on higher orders.

Incidentally the worst ride on the train is actually the control car, then first class its pretty horrible from time to time. I'm a regular Dublin Thurles passenger so I am speaking from first hand experience

The Mk4

The older and smoother Mk3

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 11-08-2009 at 21:43.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 21:40   #12
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Is the top graph from the new 117m train and the bottom from the 1970's reliable carriages?
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Unread 11-08-2009, 21:59   #13
MrX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
The graphs don't lie, the Mk4 has a problem

Barry can't have it both ways, there is a problem and complaining about us highlighting a real verifiable issue is cheap and unprofessional. Why isn't he giving out to CAF? Then again he could be acting on higher orders.

Incidentally the worst ride on the train is actually the control car, then first class its pretty horrible from time to time. I'm a regular Dublin Thurles passenger so I am speaking from first hand experience

The Mk4

The older and smoother Mk3
Perhaps it's because CIE companies always consider passengers to be an inconvenience the interferes with the smooth operation of an efficient public transport system. They should be thankful that people are bringing these things to their attention, not brushing them under the carpet and sneering at them.

If the train's faulty, it's under warranty and can be fixed for free. So, why shoot the messenger?!
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Unread 11-08-2009, 22:48   #14
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Perhaps it's because CIE companies always consider passengers to be an inconvenience the interferes with the smooth operation of an efficient public transport system. They should be thankful that people are bringing these things to their attention, not brushing them under the carpet and sneering at them.
The public face of Irish Rail will never agree with our assessment no matter how qualified it is. We have excellent relations with some non public offices where our informed and constructive comment is acted upon and the passenger gets results

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If the train's faulty, it's under warranty and can be fixed for free. So, why shoot the messenger?!
We should be asking why was the train despite being out of contract spec accepted for service in the first place. I've always been quick to point out that its under warranty and zero cost.

To my knowledge the first comparative analysis of the Mk4 ride was done in June 2009, shouldn't that have happened in 2005? The first set of modifications where mainly engineering driven to resolve serious mechanical issues which in turn calmed the secondary suspension

And yes in 2006 a IE manager told me to find the first modified coach and report, I did and said the ride still had the swaying motion and suggested the track played a significant part

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 11-08-2009 at 22:53.
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Unread 12-08-2009, 09:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
And yes in 2006 a IE manager told me to find the first modified coach and report, I did and said the ride still had the swaying motion and suggested the track played a significant part
The IR track does play a significant part, When you look at a straight piece of track, It isn't straight you see curves left to right. I think IR should replace all the track with something like what the TGV uses, Very straight track.

I just wanted to ask, Has there been a ride quality test for the new 22k IC railcars ?.....
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Unread 12-08-2009, 09:21   #16
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Wasn't the Cork-Dublin line only recently completed removing sections of jointed track. I certainly remember there being sections of track that caused that clunk-clunk sound associated with 1950s movies and steam trains, and that's not very long ago eg early 00s

if they were replacing track that recently, why did they use substandard specifications or materials?!

Is it not just a gross waste of public funds to lay something that is of low quality and will need replacement?!
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Unread 12-08-2009, 10:20   #17
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Bulk of Dublin Cork was relayed in the 1976-1995 bracket

Yes it was done in a hurry. The 201 class locomotives are also outside spec on track forces which isn't helping

There are 3 or 4 renewed sections in place and they are very very smooth
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Unread 12-08-2009, 10:38   #18
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Bulk of Dublin Cork was relayed in the 1976-1995 bracket

Yes it was done in a hurry. The 201 class locomotives are also outside spec on track forces which isn't helping

There are 3 or 4 renewed sections in place and they are very very smooth

Hmm, sounds like specifications aren't one of Irish Rail's strong points. I'm begining to wonder what their strong points actually are?!

I suppose, it's not surprising given the fact that in lots of places the trains are the wrong height for the platforms and you'd nearly need to be a poll vaulter to get into the train at Cork's Kent Station the gap's so big... and an endless list of specification and project management related errors that are visible throughout the 'system'.
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Unread 12-08-2009, 12:33   #19
seamus kilcock
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Ah now Mr X - the Cork Station was built 150 years ago.
The carriage specs then were very different compared to now.
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Unread 12-08-2009, 15:00   #20
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201 is outside spec on track forces
The track laid was designed for 90mph with a 99 ton locomotive not a 100 mph 118 ton one
The new Mk4 coaches are each 5 tons heavier than the Mk3
The Mk4 should have higher track forces than the Mk3
The service frequency on the Cork line has effectively tripled in 10 years
More trains run making fewer stops, more track wear

It all adds up to serious track problems. Even the trusty Mk3 can have problems. The Mk4 suspension could be better but its unlikely to significantly change matters unless track is also fixed.
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