Irish Rail finally commits to passenger consultation
January 9th 2011
Rail Users Ireland today welcomes Irish Rail's introduction of a formal consultation process with passengers with respect to the next timetable change. Irish Rail's failure to consult with passengers in the past on issues of timetables and new trains has led to widespread dissatisfaction and inconvenience amongst many passengers.
Rail Users Ireland met with Irish Rail management in 2010 to express its extreme dissatisfaction with timetabling practice and in particular the lack of notice of major changes, lack of consultation with passengers and the failure to sell the printed network wide timetable to the public. At this meeting Irish Rail committed to the circulation of draft timetables for feedback and that the printed network timetable would again be available to the general public at the next major timetable change.
Dr Mark Gleeson spokesperson, Rail Users Ireland said: "While Rail Users Ireland welcomes this initiative from Irish Rail, it remains to be seen how much scope for change is possible and ultimately if this is a serious attempt to listen to passengers". Mark Gleeson, continued: "The proposed timetable merely perpetuates the current timetable and does little to address current problems, and fails to deliver something innovative to benefit long suffering passengers."
Despite close on 400 million euro spent on providing 4 tracks between Cherry Orchard and Hazelhatch few if any trains take advantage of the two extra tracks provided by this investment. Such changes would allow for clock-face timetable on all services, an improved service between Heuston - Kildare/Newbridge as well as reducing journey times on other services without the need to run a single extra train.
The proposed timetable does nothing to address the ongoing and disgraceful pattern of short and cancelled services between Dublin and Portlaoise, daily ongoing delays nor will it address the farcical situation of a peak morning service between Waterford and Dublin being cut back to 3 coaches on a Monday morning. While Irish Rail will highlight journey time reductions these merely restore journey times to the same levels as 5, 10 and even 20 years ago and remain well above the targets committed to before over 1 billion euro was spent on upgraded infrastructure.
The proposed timetable is available online http://www.irishrail.ie/contact_us/timetable_comments.asp