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Unread 22-08-2019, 22:21   #81
Goods
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Default overcrowding from west

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...gain-1.3994455

Overcrowding on trains from the west today reinforce the point that rail will be used if the service is available. The counter argument is often made that we dont have the population for railways in IE. This is not the case, rail is the future but is currently run in a minimalist way and development like doubling track in places rarely happens.
I have used the network on all Ireland days and it was thronged yet IR say that "demand was unanticipated" this cant be the case as they have the data.
It looks as if the system is under strain but this should not happen if planning was in place to meet growing demand.
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Unread 23-08-2019, 06:51   #82
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It is basically impossible to provide seats for everyone on all-Ireland day at a reasonable cost. It's not like 20 years ago when they could haul out some battered old cravens that were only used once or twice a year.

The regular daily overcrowding is a different issue entirely but the example of all-Ireland day isn't particularly helpful since you can't meet that demand at any kind of reasonable cost.
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Unread 23-08-2019, 11:01   #83
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Up until the early 1990's there basically was a skeleton service on Sundays until the late afternoon, no suburban services at all. It was fairly easy to find a few trains spare to run extra services, even though at times this led to cancellations. Now trains are busy 7 days a week and there is limited scope.

There were massive complaints of overcrowding back then, anti social behavior, trains damaged. Irish Rail are not keen on Dublin football away games after getting a train completely trashed in the mid 1990's.

One of the major improvements Irish Rail made was enforcing a reservation only policy on extra trains

Anyone who shows on on all Ireland Sunday without a reservation is either going to stand or will be left behind, no sympathy.
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Unread 23-08-2019, 11:41   #84
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They did say the 07.50 last Sunday was reduced from 5 to 4 car after a train failure.

The 09.45 has had many issues since introduced, victim of its own success!

Tricky to resolve unless they make extra capacity available on 14.45. They need to run non stop from Athlone.
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Unread 24-08-2019, 10:18   #85
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I was surprised to see a discussion of overcrowding on a Westport-Dublin train appearing on the WRC thread.

Leaving that aside, I have just read the 2 Irish Times pieces (Friday Aug 23) on overcrowding. They refer to experiences on one service, the 0945 from Westport. Loads of human-interest stuff but no attempt to find out whether severe overcrowding was rare, occasional, or typical. Also one might think that before a journalist went on with the "why don't they put on more carriages?" thing, that they might inform themselves about the nature of modern trains, which are multiple units and cost millions and you just can't magic up an ould carriage and hook in on.

Of course the real reason for the overcrowding is the chronic inability of Shane Ross, the NTA, The Dept of Transport and no doubt other bodies to make investment decisions and actually implement them.
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Unread 24-08-2019, 15:12   #86
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Yes I think that the lesson is that we should not be continuously surprised by such an event itís down to absence of analysis and planning using the data that must be available to predict when there is demand.
For decades we have been told by the Dublin set that IE is too small for a train service and that the branch lines are uneconomic yet now we see that demand cannot be met.
If the service is provided it will be used and I agree that from certain stations like Athlone non stop trains are needed.
Iím aware that the argument will be made that traffic near Dublin is too high and capacity restricted which brings me to the option of opening Athlone - Mullingar route to Dublin and providing other north south options like WRC.
There is a need to think outside the box rather than the add on another carriage solution!
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Unread 24-08-2019, 16:51   #87
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The key is to identify the constraints to service improvements. Before you can make much use of extra rolling stock, you have to tackle track capacity. For Galway/Mayo services the Athlone-Portarlington section is critical. Doubling even over a limited part of the line would enable significant service improvements. No hint that this is on any official radar screen however.
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Unread 25-08-2019, 15:23   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goods View Post
Yes I think that the lesson is that we should not be continuously surprised by such an event itís down to absence of analysis and planning using the data that must be available to predict when there is demand.
For decades we have been told by the Dublin set that IE is too small for a train service and that the branch lines are uneconomic yet now we see that demand cannot be met.
If the service is provided it will be used and I agree that from certain stations like Athlone non stop trains are needed.
Iím aware that the argument will be made that traffic near Dublin is too high and capacity restricted which brings me to the option of opening Athlone - Mullingar route to Dublin and providing other north south options like WRC.
There is a need to think outside the box rather than the add on another carriage solution!
It justified the case for IE to manage and invest in what they have before wasting money on WRC that will deliver a lower ROI.

Quote:
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The key is to identify the constraints to service improvements. Before you can make much use of extra rolling stock, you have to tackle track capacity. For Galway/Mayo services the Athlone-Portarlington section is critical. Doubling even over a limited part of the line would enable significant service improvements. No hint that this is on any official radar screen however.
The CEO made reference to double tracking that section not long ago. Its on there radar but not happening anytime soon.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 25-08-2019 at 15:25.
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Unread 25-08-2019, 15:46   #89
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If a CEO has identified a capital project which looks necessary or promising, how long does it take for this to get translated into actual investment activity?

I have a feeling that for a large private sector company like CRH, one would see action within a year and completion within 3 or 4 years. With public transport in Ireland, substitute decades for years.

As the saying goes, it's no way to run a railroad.
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Unread 25-08-2019, 16:12   #90
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It was actually the whole Galway route. It might get to design/planning in maybe 10-15 years.

They will probably fail to deliver electrification in GDA never mind anything outside it. Just look at the mess both IE, NTA and Dep of Transport have made of rolling stock. Wasting months and months and delivering nothing apart from presentation on what they plan to do. Almost 3 years considering 41 ICR coaches and still no official order. Depending who you believe they will be at least 9 months late entering service (late 2021) and that was an estimate months ago. Who knows when they will start service.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 25-08-2019 at 16:18.
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Unread 25-08-2019, 19:18   #91
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All the carry on about Ennis-Collooney and money spent on tarmacing a swathe of Ardrahan while Athlone-Mullingar went with barely a whimper. I fancy the latter will be regretted more in the long run - and not merely to avoid improving Athlone-Portarlington.
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Unread 26-08-2019, 17:05   #92
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Essentially we are arguing the same point that the railway system could be much better and meet the obvious demand with investment. A set of priorities is required to be decided by policy makers and then a plan implemented. That plan should not exclude services to rural Ireland as we have seen lately the Westport line cannot meet the demand and trains from Longford in the mornings are uncomfortably full by Maynooth when the commuter stops begin.
Doubling of certain track, electrification and added carriages are part of the solution as is looking at other options like a new north south route WRC or using Athlone Mullinagar line option into Dublin for some west trains.
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Unread 26-08-2019, 22:10   #93
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It would be great to know what the usage for point to point on exiting non-radial services are.

Are passengers just connecting from a Dublin service or is there significant traffic on the line itself.

We canít extract that from the rail census, but I assume Irish Rail have some idea from ticket sales.
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Unread 19-09-2019, 21:11   #94
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https://www.irishexaminer.com/breaki...se-938937.html
The data shows the extent that there is demand for rail service in IE yet the system is struggling to respond with the result that trains are crowded and there is little sign of expanding the network in places like Navan, or doubling track on lines such as to Mullingar or Tullamore. Irish Rail work on the basis of limiting the service rather than allowing it grow
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Unread 22-09-2019, 18:00   #95
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https://amp.irishexaminer.com/breaki...mpression=true
Demand for commuter rail has never been as high and instead of investment in double track and higher frequency IR trying to reduce peak time numbers. Has to be a better way!
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Unread 23-09-2019, 06:46   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goods View Post
https://www.irishexaminer.com/breaki...se-938937.html
The data shows the extent that there is demand for rail service in IE yet the system is struggling to respond with the result that trains are crowded and there is little sign of expanding the network in places like Navan, or doubling track on lines such as to Mullingar or Tullamore. Irish Rail work on the basis of limiting the service rather than allowing it grow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goods View Post
https://amp.irishexaminer.com/breaki...mpression=true
Demand for commuter rail has never been as high and instead of investment in double track and higher frequency IR trying to reduce peak time numbers. Has to be a better way!
You do realise that IE are constrained in what they can and cannot do by what funding they receive from the government via the NTA.

Almost everything youíre blaming them on requires capital funding from government/NTA and they have dithered on that for years, especially on the rolling stock side.

Unless people make enough of a fuss about it to their TDs then things arenít going to change. Public transport investment is always long term and that doesnít fit into the political cycle unfortunately.
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Unread 24-09-2019, 09:49   #97
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Agree completely capital funding is a gap though I think IR planning is faulty as we seem to suddenly realise that demand has increased despite the graph going up for years. Irish Rail board is a politically selected group so the Board ensures that there is no bad news for the serving govt and vested interests are not threatened. Look at the way that bus services competes with the train instead of one backing up the gaps in the other. See how Rosslare Harbour is being run down in terms of rail service and look at the way Waterford port has been run down in terms of rail freight links. The railways are idle at night so freight can move without congestion but the road freight business prefers to obstruct rail freight. Using the railways more effectively will reduce the overheads and contribute to capital budget. Doublin of track eg to Mullingar would increase commuter frequency of trains instead of turning customers away at peak time. Not including a rail link to the airport when the M50 was built was good for the car park business at the airport.
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Unread 24-11-2019, 21:00   #98
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Default Ballina leading the way

https://www.handling-network.com/tra...h-railfreight/
Ballina leading the way in IWT trains. If WRC was in place a link between Ballina and Cork or Rosslare would open many options for rail use
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Unread 25-11-2019, 09:45   #99
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Unfortunately, the container terminal in Cork is moving from Tivoli to Ringaskiddy and will not be rail connected (of course the plan is to build a new motorway there right through the middle of a suburban area, but road funding is how things work in this country). There's no great prospect of a rail connection either as the options would be very expensive, with either a new rail line right through the suburbs of Cork (major CPOs so expensive) or an underwater tunnel from the Cobh line so incredibly expensive from an engineering perspective).

For me, Belview is the obvious connection point if there is to be a rail/port connection on the south coast. It can handle containers already (unlike Rosslare) and is properly rail connected (unlike Cork).

I doubt freight makes the case for the WRC though. There's no great benefit in shipping rail freight fast as we don't move time-sensitive goods over the rail network (and this is the case in countries with much more elaborate rail freight). While there is a case for freight trains avoiding the Dublin area because of disruption to existing services, there's no major issue with going Ballina-Athlone-Athenry-Limerick-Belview on the current network, with no capital investment required. If the WRC is reopened, it will need to stand on projected passenger numbers.
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Unread 25-11-2019, 16:03   #100
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Very fair points and I agree that eliminating rail freight link to Cork under the new plan is not good planning at a time when IE is trying to reduce its carbon footprint.
I hadnít realised that Ballina Athlone Limerick was an option that works.
There seems to be an intentional strategy over a number of years in breaking the rail link to our ports. This is happening in Cork, Belview recently, Rosslare seems to have been cut to the quayside and Foynes. Having an alternative north south route that avoids the congested mainly Dub - Cork line is a future good plan.
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