Official Launch of new Intercity trains
July 11th 2006
The official launch of Irish Rail's new Intercity Trains on the Dublin - Cork route took place on Monday July 10th. Representatives from Platform 11, Derek Wheeler PRO and Mark Gleeson Technical Officer, attended this event on board a special return service to Cork. We would like to thank Irish Rail for the invite and opportunity to learn more about these new trains.
Invited guests were addressed by the Chairman of CIE, Dr. John Lynch, the Spanish Ambassador to Ireland, the Lord Mayor of Cork and Minister for Transport, Martin Cullen over lunch in the Silver Springs Hotel in Cork. Guests were also shown a promotional video outlining the features of the trains and plans for the future.
Platform 11 welcomes the forthcoming introduction of these trains on all Dublin - Cork services. This introduction is already behind schedule due to ongoing issues between some staff and Irish Rail management, as previously highlighted by Platform 11 and the recent dispute. We call on the company to address these issues as soon as possible, in an open and accountable manner, so that customers can quickly embrace this new technology and benefit from the improvements in comfort and frequency. The new trains were built by CAF (a leading train manufacturer) in Spain and will be capable of running at 200KPH once the track has been upgraded, modifications are made to the braking system and new locomotives are supplied. Platform 11 understands that this work depends on Government funding and that current speeds will be maintained until this happens. However, there is no doubting that the new Intercity coaches are a sign that, "we may actually get there eventually".
Features of the new trains include,
- A new streamlined design in a new livery.
- Highest standard of comfort and customer facilities, including improved catering.
- Audio and text display passenger information systems on-board.
- Electronic route maps.
- Compliant with international standards for mobility impaired and sensory impaired customers.
- Seat reservation display panels above each seat.
- CCTV and voice communication facilities to enhance customer security.
Platform 11 has noted that the new trains are prone to a poor ride quality at certain times. While this isn't too bad seating down, it can be problematic when trying to move around the coach and is noticeably worse than the existing trains on the route. In addition to this the Passenger Information System failed, for a while, on yesterdays special train. Irish Rail are aware of these problems and hopefully improvements can be made so the overall experience isn't spoilt by them.
Finally, we'd like to thank our escort for the day, Mr. Paul O'Kelly from Irish Rail's Passenger Commercial Office, and in particular the on-board catering staff, who put in a huge effort to make sure everyone had enough to eat and drink. They were the unsung hero's of the event.