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Unread 22-02-2014, 13:11   #21
Jamie2k9
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Wait and see the 1600 will go off the timetable completely.
Those 2/3 hours at peak time each way are messy to say the least as in the shape of the timetable. No changes would happen before a timetable change.

No word on what the 7 car set was going between Longford and carrick on Friday evening
If it makes commercial sense then it should but it will probably be December before IE revert to a new timetable, the latest I have heard which I am happy about if its true.

Not sure what you are saying about the 7 piece between Longford and Carrick it could be for operational reasons to store the set as it may not be required until Monday or even Sunday.

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I agree that what is needed is a temporary timetable. We can appreciate the impact of incidents on accidents on the running of the railway, but it costs nothing to re-organise the timetable so that passengers know when to expect a train to come.

I don't know about the 1805 right now as I haven't taken it in a couple of months as it is too uncomfortable, but I'm not the only person avoiding it now and I should think its loading past Maynooth has dropped a lot since they changed to a 29K.

If the 17:05 wasn't jammed yesterday, it must have been from people avoiding travelling. It is normally packed on a Friday and with the additional traffic from the 1600, it should have be much worse.

If any train is to go from the evening timetable, it should be the 1715. I've not taken it once in 10 years of commuting and neither has any of the regular commuters I talk to. Typical Irish Rail to have two trains leave before the normal office finishing time of 17:30.
I know this is going off topic but completely agree there is real operation inefficiencies with Sligo services. While I don't have stats for average numbers most days it's hard to make a call.

I would cancel the 16.00 service and run the set at 18.05 to Sligo and get rid of the Longford service. 4 car 22 should be sufficient and it eases pressure on the Sligo service either side and on Fridays I think it would have the most benefit as everybody wants to make the 17.05 as IMO the 19.05 gets to Sligo a little to late for many. It would be a much easier sell and have little political messing as they are not cutting Sligo services really. There is the morning issue with a service from Longford the 5,40 surly commuter traffic will be light on that until Mullingar and if that was the case it would be better to run an empty past Maynooth to cope as if its running that far in the first place they would still be making some savings. They could do some changes at Sligo end either. Even if demand is not justified keep the 18.05 to Longford only and solve the issue for morning services.

Just on the 16,00 being cancelled if it's not down to sets, could Longford cope with the 15.05, 16.00, 17.05, 17.15, 18.05 and 19.05 services overnight?

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 22-02-2014 at 13:21.
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Unread 24-02-2014, 15:54   #22
James Howard
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They've just updated to confirm that it is to remain as is all week. It is beyond me why they can't do something about putting a temporary timetable in place.

http://www.irishrail.ie/lineclosuresduetoflooding
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Unread 27-02-2014, 08:06   #23
James Howard
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What's especially annoying at this point is that they have obviously established an internal working timetable because they have scheduled a number of trains to cross at Enfield and announced that one of them won't be stopping.

Yet they don't see fit to share this working timetable with the passengers who could then get an extra half-hour in bed rather than standing on the platform.

Why would they not do this? Incompetence or just outright hostility towards their own customers?
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Unread 27-02-2014, 11:49   #24
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It's ridiculous really. The 7.26 (from Mullingar) arrived there today at 7.45 as they announced it would be on the tannoy, but then got to Connolly at 8.53 only a few minutes later than the actual timetable, while other days it's arrived in Dublin much later than that.

It does go to show that the journey time is regularly much longer than it actually should be and they can make up time i.e. go faster when they really need to.
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Unread 27-02-2014, 11:59   #25
James Howard
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I travel from Edgeworthstown and I've given up on that train since it was 40 minutes late one morning last week. But it is also able to catch up close to 10 minutes between Edgeworthstown and Mullingar.

I've sent them a "customer feedback" note to register my complaint but I can't see it making any difference. I've asked their twitter feed about a temporary timetable a few times now, but they aren't responding so I've obviously pissed them off at some stage so that they ignore me - never mind that I contribute 4 grand a year to their bottom line. They told somebody on Tuesday that 7:26 from Mullingar would be departing on schedule on Wednesday morning.

If I had to guess, they aren't doing a temporary timetable because their on-time performance would be judged against the main timetable and they are leaving themselves the flexibility to try to catch up.

They have hidden the contact link on the new website pretty effectively. Took me a few minutes to find it.
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Unread 27-02-2014, 12:57   #26
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While I totally agree with you on the timetable issue or lack of one, to suggest that the "Contact us" is hidden is a bit much.

Most companies put it towards the bottom or top of the homepage.

Simply scrolling down towards the bottom of the homepage reveals a direct link to "Contact Us".
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Unread 27-02-2014, 13:45   #27
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Out of about 80 links on the page, it is the second last one on the page and in the second smallest point size. Most companies interested in hearing from their customers would put it somewhere a bit more prominent. There is plenty of space between the Irish Rail logo and the "My Account" icon. By comparison, Bus Eireann have an "about us" page where the second item in the list is contact us.

Anyway, I got a very fast response to my feedback but unfortunately, it was a stock response to a completely different question - mainly because there wasn't an option for "Delayed Train" or "other" in the "nature of feedback" dropdown, so I got the answer for "Train Facilities" which I figured was the closest option from Cleanliness, Did not get my Seat, Catering, Train Facilities, Station Facilitites & Onboard Information and Announcements.

A colleague took the 0545 this morning from Mullingar and had to stand the whole way as it was a commuter train.
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Unread 27-02-2014, 16:29   #28
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I had the 'pleasure' of sitting opposite a lady who had pre-booked her seat on the 19.05 Sligo service yesterday evening. She moaned solidly for about 15 minutes and I reckon she uses the train three or four times a year.

Imagine how we feel being on it every day!!!

She didnt take too kindly to my suggestion that they scrap pre booking altogether seeing as seats are so scarce and if they ever put a name up over my head - after I have taken the seat checking there was no name flashing above - they could whistle for their so called pre booked seat!

I had moved away from some inebriated (at best) passengers in another carriage but I might have been better off staying where I was
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Unread 27-02-2014, 16:58   #29
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I agree that something needs to happen about pre-booked seats. On the 1705 on Tuesday, they didn't start the engine until close to 1700 so we were sitting in complete darkness with no bookings indicated on a packed train. Then it all lit up and much cursing ensued. The 1705 has been boarding late all week - understandable enough, but it is very stressful not knowing if you've inadvertently sat in a pre-booked seat and are going to end up standing to Mullingar. They need to ensure that no train opens its doors without bookings lit up. I can't see why anybody would pay the extra for booking on the Sligo line. If you turn up late you are almost guaranteed a row.

I've booked a hotel tonight, I just couldn't face the 5 AM start again. Some choice - either get up at 5 AM or take your chances with standing for 90 minutes. All for the low low price of 4,000 euro per year.

At least the early train has been a 22K three days this week.
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Unread 28-02-2014, 19:14   #30
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Was that a marginally irate poster on this board from Edgworthstown on Primetime last night? ;-)
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Unread 28-02-2014, 20:43   #31
Mark Gleeson
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I made it very clear to RTE that 18:05 to Longford as the big problem train, seems like they took the advice...
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Unread 28-02-2014, 21:26   #32
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Mark, as a matter of interest, what do you see as being the problem with the 1805. Do you think I am off the wall with my opinion that 29Ks don't cut if for the long-haul commuter?

Anyway it wasn't me and I didn't recognise the guy and I do know all of the people/idiots who've been commuting it long-term. I'm pretty far from being marginally irate at this stage so I doubt they would have been able to broadcast anything I would have said if they'd vox-popped me. I've probably spent more time on the Sligo line than most people who work for Irish Rail at this stage and the commuter experience is worse now that at any point since they introduced the 0545 from Sligo.

I actually got a nice response about a temporary timetable from Mr. Slowey today so who knows, if it is to drag on for another week, perhaps they will adjust properly to the new reality.

It is certainly a waste of time asking @IrishRail anything which is a bit odd. I have found that most companies tend to be a lot more responsive through their twitter channel than through more traditional customer response channels.

Last edited by James Howard : 28-02-2014 at 21:26. Reason: Removed off-topic paragraph
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Unread 01-03-2014, 00:13   #33
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Use of 29k is the primary issue, 30 ICR's were bought and paid for specifically for outer commuter service.

The loss of the ICR had the secondary knock on as to capacity.

We are awaiting a response as to the actual plan on the Sligo line as the current approach of telling no one about the plan isn't really working.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 10:43   #34
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While I understand the frustration of passengers using the 1805 to Longford as a result of the reversion to 29k operation, I wouldn't necessarily see this service as the prime candidate for ICRs. What about Rosslare, Wexford, Dundalk and Newry ?

Maybe a 3 car ICR might work if the 1805 were to run non-stop to Mullingar. This would probably be an unacceptable inconvenience for westbound passengers from Maynooth but Kilcock and Enfield bound passengers could be accommodated by running the following stopping service to Enfield.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 11:07   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Use of 29k is the primary issue, 30 ICR's were bought and paid for specifically for outer commuter service.

The loss of the ICR had the secondary knock on as to capacity.

We are awaiting a response as to the actual plan on the Sligo line as the current approach of telling no one about the plan isn't really working.
Bizarrely enough Mark, economic circumstances can and do change.

Given the financial constraints that the company find themselves in, it's a case of what can they afford to do, rather than what they would like to do.

I'm surprised btw that it has taken you so long to make any public comment on the timetable or lack of one on the Sligo line.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 13:02   #36
James Howard
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We're gone a bit off topic, but the 4 car ICR was more than adequate for the 1805 but the problem is the opposite running - the 0540 service from Longford. This has actually been a 4-car ICR all this week due to the flooding and it gets a bit tight after Clonsilla. The obvious solution is to make both this and the next Longford train non-stop from Clonsilla to Drumcondra. This would massively improve the Longford service and they could even cut costs without upsetting anybody by running a 7-car ICR as the 1805, stop the 1715 at Maynooth or possibly Enfield and then make both Longford services non-stop from Clonsilla as each half of the 1805 service.

It isn't just a matter of cutting - the only reason the Longford and Sligo service has any passengers at all is because of the poor economic situation (and consequent lack of professional employment in the area) and the fact that there is no real alternative. The fact is that a bus is more comfortable than a 29k, is cheaper and is less susceptible to occasional sessions of trapping passengers for 4 hours. So, sooner or later, somebody is going to step in and provide a decent bus service from Sligo / Longford to Dublin and at that stage, the line will drop into terminal decline.

It shouldn't be about Sligo or Longford versus Rosslare or Dundalk, but if you want to start that argument, Dundalk is typically close to a half-hour closer to Dublin than Longford. Rosslare and Wexford should be 22K services, no argument there. I personally can't see why anybody would take the train that direction instead of the Wexford bus
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Unread 01-03-2014, 15:26   #37
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I see from the journey planner that the revised times for today are loaded onto the journey planner:

The 12:17, 14:16 and 16:16 from Longford are deferred to 12:55, 14:55, 16:55 respectively.

That makes sense as it means that the one set is going Connolly/Longford and back again directly rather than sitting there for two hours.

Similarly, tomorrow (Sunday), the trains are deferred as follows from Longford:

10:17 ==> 10:50
14:15 ==> 14:55
16:15 ==> 16:55
17:48 ==> 18:00

The other services are (supposed) to operate to schedule.

I have to ask why should anyone have to guess this sort of thing or look through the journey planner - surely a clear replacement timetable should
be issued?

At the moment the normal timetable is loaded into the journey planner for Monday.
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Unread 02-03-2014, 00:43   #38
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Bizarrely enough Mark, economic circumstances can and do change.

Given the financial constraints that the company find themselves in, it's a case of what can they afford to do, rather than what they would like to do.
While your right the Sligo timetable is very inefficient and costing IE more. Clearly nothing major will change until a new timetable if even then. They are suiting two drivers based in Longford which is costing them greatly. That needs to change and there is lots of ways to change it.

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It shouldn't be about Sligo or Longford versus Rosslare or Dundalk, but if you want to start that argument, Dundalk is typically close to a half-hour closer to Dublin than Longford. Rosslare and Wexford should be 22K services, no argument there. I personally can't see why anybody would take the train that direction instead of the Wexford bus
Can anybody confirm the number of Dundalk/Drogheda services operated by 22's, I don't think its a massive amount and as with the Portlaoise shuttle many of the sets are probably scheduled to visit Drogheda deport anyway so the argument of them being on that route instead of the Longford route can't necessary being justified.

Just had a look at the PT piece on IE and tbh Leo V's antidote towards IE doesn't do much for future commitment to rail transport. Yes IE need to cut costs and I'm sure a wages deal will be done but in general Leo V was clearly very uninformed about a railway and comparing to a bus was a little stupid on his behalf. It seems like IE is completely on their own from now on, wonder will his tune change if IE start to cut frequency across the network to make a point to him?

The only positive point was how well the WRC was exposed and now just about everybody knows about it.
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Unread 02-03-2014, 11:27   #39
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While your right the Sligo timetable is very inefficient and costing IE more. Clearly nothing major will change until a new timetable if even then. They are suiting two drivers based in Longford which is costing them greatly. That needs to change and there is lots of ways to change it.
I didn't say anything about the Sligo timetable being inefficient - I was referring to what rolling stock operates what trains. The problem is that there is not enough money to run all of the trains - that's the reality the company faces, and that means some of the trains being operated by a pool of stock - ICR and 29k.

The main problem with the ICRs in Connolly is that they are now maintained in Drogheda and not in Connolly anymore - this reduces maintenance budgets but means that the rostering is far more inflexible, as trains have to go to Drogheda for servicing.

I don't see any problem in having two drivers in Longford - would you prefer they go back to taxiing them from Connolly again? Having the local based drivers makes far more sense.

The only issue I have with the Sligo route is that one set remains in Sligo from 18:00 one day until 11:00 the next, which again reduces the availability of ICRs. That would be solved be returning to the old timetable pattern with a 07:05 and 09:05 from Dublin and a 17:00 and 19:00 from Sligo.

Ultimately a timetable change is the only way of better matching sets with services, but I suspect that you will still have some oddball workings.

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Can anybody confirm the number of Dundalk/Drogheda services operated by 22's, I don't think its a massive amount and as with the Portlaoise shuttle many of the sets are probably scheduled to visit Drogheda deport anyway so the argument of them being on that route instead of the Longford route can't necessary being justified.

Just had a look at the PT piece on IE and tbh Leo V's antidote towards IE doesn't do much for future commitment to rail transport. Yes IE need to cut costs and I'm sure a wages deal will be done but in general Leo V was clearly very uninformed about a railway and comparing to a bus was a little stupid on his behalf. It seems like IE is completely on their own from now on, wonder will his tune change if IE start to cut frequency across the network to make a point to him?

The only positive point was how well the WRC was exposed and now just about everybody knows about it.
There is one full roster on Drogheda/Dundalk that is ICR operated. Apart from that the handful of other trains operated by ICRs on the route double up as positioning moves to/from the depot, but operate in service.
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Unread 02-03-2014, 13:50   #40
Jamie2k9
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I didn't say anything about the Sligo timetable being inefficient - I was referring to what rolling stock operates what trains. The problem is that there is not enough money to run all of the trains - that's the reality the company faces, and that means some of the trains being operated by a pool of stock - ICR and 29k.

The main problem with the ICRs in Connolly is that they are now maintained in Drogheda and not in Connolly anymore - this reduces maintenance budgets but means that the rostering is far more inflexible, as trains have to go to Drogheda for servicing.

I don't see any problem in having two drivers in Longford - would you prefer they go back to taxiing them from Connolly again? Having the local based drivers makes far more sense.

The only issue I have with the Sligo route is that one set remains in Sligo from 18:00 one day until 11:00 the next, which again reduces the availability of ICRs. That would be solved be returning to the old timetable pattern with a 07:05 and 09:05 from Dublin and a 17:00 and 19:00 from Sligo.

Ultimately a timetable change is the only way of better matching sets with services, but I suspect that you will still have some oddball workings.
They do have the 22's available for the service, they were able to spare 2"3 piece sets before the fleet changed.

I'm sure a taxi service for one of the drivers to Maynooth would be more efficient than running services such as the 17.15 to Longford.
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