Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson
Delays happens, thats life. The risk of a delay when a steam train is around is vastly more
1. They breakdown, vastly more often per mile operated
2. They get stuck, steam/coal issues
3. They trip the hot axle box detectors
The very least we should expect a diesel locomotive to be dragged along as insurance if something goes wrong.
This is the land of transparency, will Irish Rail apply the network access statement charges and charge for the full cost of the rescue locomotive and the delay minutes, doubt it. Will Irish Rail charge for the siding space in Inchicore etc.
The fare paying passenger should not be contributing a single cent here, nor should the NTA
You have made a lot of assertions, most of which appear to have little basis in fact. Steam trains are extremely popular and have been operating successfully in preservation for almost 60 years. There have been a few disruptive delays over the years, last Monday's incident being by far the worst I can remember.
Steam train operations contribute significantly to Irish Rail in terms of fees and charges which more than cover any costs incurred. They advertise the existence of the railway and generate traffic for regular services not only on the day, but for the future as the next generation are introduced to railways.
The steam train operators have a right of access to the infrastructure in the same way as Irish Rail or Belmond do and are subject to the same regulatory framework.
There are daily delays and disruptions on Irish Rail due to a combination of mechanical failures, signalling failures, poor traffic regulation and the now ubiquitous operational issues which see trains just disappear from schedules with little or no notice. The incident at Greystones on Monday was compounded by yet another DART failure which contributed to the Rosslare delays.
Incidentally when was the last delay due to activation of a Hot Box Detector by a steam train ?