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Unread 07-11-2012, 20:04   #1
Inniskeen
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Default Enterprise Farce

The 1520 Dublin/Belfast apparently failed on arrival in Drogheda at 1555 this afternoon. The unfortunate passengers reportedly had to wait until around 1745 before being stuffed onto the already overfull 1650 to Belfast. The 1650 itself was running about 20 minutes late due to an issue with the preceding 1555 Bray/Howth DART.

How can it be that Irish Rail's cannot rustle up even a suburban railcar at one of their principal depot locations. Really hard to see a prosperous future for such a dismal service.
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Unread 07-11-2012, 23:38   #2
Mark Gleeson
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It takes 2 staff to take ANY train cross border, for evening peak hour there would be no spare trains in Drogheda they would be in Dublin quite rightly, in the morning there is spare in Drogheda which has numerous times filled in for the early enterprise.


15:55 Bray Howth was broadly on time leaving Connolly but started to loose time on the north side due a technical fault on one of the trains. A pantograph contact strip seemed to be missing or worn through on one coach so the train lurched badly under acceleration

Anyone on the 15:20 today going cross border is entitled to full refund of any ticket

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 07-11-2012 at 23:41.
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Unread 08-11-2012, 00:42   #3
Inniskeen
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It takes 2 staff to take ANY train cross border, for evening peak hour there would be no spare trains in Drogheda they would be in Dublin quite rightly, in the morning there is spare in Drogheda which has numerous times filled in for the early enterprise.


15:55 Bray Howth was broadly on time leaving Connolly but started to loose time on the north side due a technical fault on one of the trains. A pantograph contact strip seemed to be missing or worn through on one coach so the train lurched badly under acceleration

Anyone on the 15:20 today going cross border is entitled to full refund of any ticket
If the facts are as I understand them (i.e train failed on the northbound platform at Drogheda with no other attendant circumstances) then Irish Rail treated their passengers with contempt, either through indifference, incompetence or lack of reasonable contingency planning. Irrespective of how many staff are required to crew a cross-border service, any outfit that thinks a performance like this is acceptable or excusable doesn't have a bright future.

Incidentally NIR were able to provide a substitute train for the 1810 from Belfast. It crawled into Connolly behind yet another late running DART.

Also from what I understand the northern line peak commuter services were a mess yet again with, for instance the infamously slow 1755 to Dundalk taking a little short of two hours to reach its destination.

And Irish Rail wonders why people are choosing other modes of transport.
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Unread 08-11-2012, 01:52   #4
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This is becoming a the norm to make passengers wait for the next service instead of providing a bus transfer. I think thats acceptable on the Cork line with an hourly service but not on any other line as the wait would be closer to 2 hours.

In general on time performance on the Belfast line has being appalling over the last few weeks. The 07.35 had wheel slip problems this morning but the amount of failures and delays both sides of the border is not acceptable of late.
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Unread 08-11-2012, 07:24   #5
Inniskeen
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This is becoming a the norm to make passengers wait for the next service instead of providing a bus transfer. I think thats acceptable on the Cork line with an hourly service but not on any other line as the wait would be closer to 2 hours.

In general on time performance on the Belfast line has being appalling over the last few weeks. The 07.35 had wheel slip problems this morning but the amount of failures and delays both sides of the border is not acceptable of late.
If I am travelling by train (and paid a premium for doing so), I certainly would'nt want to be dumped on a bus other than when there is no other option. If you are sitting beside one of the principal depots in the country there should be another option.

Yesterdays options in order should have been, spare ICR from depot, spare commuter railcar from depot, spare locomotive from Drogheda, bus substitution, locomotive from Connolly, NIR C3K from Portadown/Belfast, transfer passenger to late running 1650. I know not all of these options were necessarily available, but something better than the worst possible option should have been implemented.

Bringing the locomotive from Connolly and hooking it up to the train, even it it took 1 hours would have been better than stuffing the unfortunate passengers onto the 1650.
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Unread 08-11-2012, 08:37   #6
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Was the failed enterprise operating with HEP or a MK 3 Gen Van?
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Unread 08-11-2012, 09:18   #7
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There's not a vast amount of locos and 22Ks cleared for operation in the UK.
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Unread 08-11-2012, 09:28   #8
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There is one set still without the van, that said coach faults on Enterprise are just as common.

15:20 I think is a Translink crew so they couldn't drive any train if one was available in Drogheda

Under EU rules Irish Rail did not breech any of the regulations. The extra stop on the 16:50 service will be accepted as reasonable effort to get passengers to destination. 100% refunds apply to all cross border passengers on that train, that again is in excess of EU requirements

Cost is fundamentally the problem, back in the good times a spare train sat Mon-Fri in Connolly which had no purpose other than to cover for Enterprise.
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Unread 08-11-2012, 10:22   #9
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The set that failed yesterday is the only set currently running with a van - the issue in any event was locomotive failure.

If stopping the 1650, almost two hours after the initial failure and loading the displaced passengers onto another already overfull service is the best that Irish Rail can do, then were it not so pathetic it would be laughable. But then I suppose almost anything goes if your standards are low enough.

When will ICRs be cleared cross-border, has the task any urgency ?, does anybody care ?
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Unread 08-11-2012, 10:54   #10
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Quote:
If I am travelling by train (and paid a premium for doing so), I certainly would'nt want to be dumped on a bus other than when there is no other option. If you are sitting beside one of the principal depots in the country there should be another option.

Yesterdays options in order should have been, spare ICR from depot, spare commuter railcar from depot, spare locomotive from Drogheda, bus substitution, locomotive from Connolly, NIR C3K from Portadown/Belfast, transfer passenger to late running 1650. I know not all of these options were necessarily available, but something better than the worst possible option should have been implemented.

Bringing the locomotive from Connolly and hooking it up to the train, even it it took 1 hours would have been better than stuffing the unfortunate passengers onto the 1650.
Agree that better back up plans are needed but I would perfer a bus to get home than waiting for another services/spare train to arrive.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 12:33   #11
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Todays 09.35 to Belfast terminated in Potordown and was then contuined by NIR 3 car set. The 10.35 and 12.35 Belfast-Dublin and returns are formed by 6 car NIR sets.

What is the problem it can't be just loco related? EGV?
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Unread 12-11-2012, 12:59   #12
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Parking brakes on the coaches are troublesome, so are the doors, suspension traction linkage, push pull faults, the list goes on.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 13:17   #13
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No idea what today's problem is although the set in trouble is the the only one currently running with an EGV.

It appears passengers on both the 1035 from Belfast and 0935 from Dublin were required to change at Portadown, presumeably to avoid an NIR crew working through to Dublin. Belfast end of both services were substitute NIR railcars, 0935 from Dublin formed 1035 from Belfast (from Portadown).

1235 from Belfast advised as 6-car railcar substitution with limited catering, no first class.

Delays appear to be of the order of 30 minutes, a lot better than the mess at Drogheda last week.
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Unread 13-11-2012, 03:05   #14
Colm Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inniskeen View Post
It appears passengers on both the 1035 from Belfast and 0935 from Dublin were required to change at Portadown, presumeably to avoid an NIR crew working through to Dublin.
Surely much better to change the crew, even if it means they are on the 'wrong' train.
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Unread 13-11-2012, 08:25   #15
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Yes, that woukd have been preferable except, of course, IR crews are not trained to drive NIR railcars or vice versa.

Several years ago, following a fatality in Dublin involving a C3K set, an NIR driver had to be summoned from Belfast (or Portadown) by taxi.

Such are the flexibilties of the modern railway.
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Unread 13-11-2012, 16:51   #16
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Yes, that woukd have been preferable except, of course, IR crews are not trained to drive NIR railcars or vice versa.
Yes, sorry, I mis-read that.
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Unread 15-11-2012, 09:49   #17
seamus kilcock
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The Enterprise is still proving unreliable.
Take the Bus - it is more reliable and costs less.
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Unread 15-11-2012, 09:51   #18
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After inquiries with Irish Rail I can confirm that a train was found to replace the broken train on November 7th, however that train also broke down before it could be used
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Unread 15-11-2012, 13:06   #19
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I now gather the problem last Monday was another locomotive failure - despite there being an EGV in the set.
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