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Unread 01-02-2016, 17:05   #121
James Howard
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It would appear quite obvious that an extra 2 cars on the 17:58 would go a long way towards providing a vastly improved service towards Malahide.

But the consequences of the timetable change would effectively make the train impractical for the commute I've been doing for 12 years. In that time, my evening train option has gone from a comfortable train at exactly the right time that does the journey in an hour and 20 minutes to a choice of an uncomfortable train at exactly the right time or a two comfortable trains an hour either side of the right time, all of which take 15 to 20 minutes longer than what was achievable before Irish Rail invested tens of millions in new trains, new signalling, level crossing automation and platform lengthening. With the new timetable the 0545 from Sligo will take longer to get from Longford to Connolly than the old 0700ish service from Longford despite having 7 fewer stops.

We should have expected massive improvements in reliability due to the improvements in traction from railcars and the extra allowed journey time yet I don't really see any difference at all. This winter has been utterly awful - this morning's train was 15 minutes late yet there was no explanation or apology. This wasn't the signalling issue of the day as the train was this late by the time it got to Edgeworthstown.

The same pattern seems to have been repeated for the DART - massive investment in trains, platforms and signalling and the result of each investment seems to be a new timetable that is slower and less reliable than the previous timetable. Does the DART run any closer to timetable than it did 25 years ago when it could complete the journey in 10 minutes less time? It certainly is no more reliable than when I started commuting.
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Unread 01-02-2016, 17:37   #122
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A piss poor option at that. I Finish work at 5.30. My morning commute takes me 30 minutes from my door to the office. If I did what you said. it would be almost 1hr 15 mins in the evening.

I'd be waiting longer at Clontarf for a train than I spent door to door in the morning commute. But don't worry, someone on the Howht branch can get a bank of four seats to themselves with trains every 10-15 minutes.

An even better option is the car with evening commute times like that because IE can't provide a proper level of service my car can.

Alternatively Irish Rail could just sling another two cars on the 17:58 and everyone can board. But that would make far too much sense.

The only time it happened to be more than four cars was when someone was doing a survey was on there about the service. Funny that.
From the outset - let me make it clear that I'm not in any way defending the use of the four car set - it shouldn't be there, full stop.

But at the same time it's not correct to continually suggest that people have to wait until 18:46. They don't, and I think you should acknowledge that. There is a viable connecting service at 18:13, which while it may not suit you ideally, could suit anyone finishing a little later.

The reason there are more Howth DARTs than to Malahide in the current timetable is more to do with the infrastructure constraints at Malahide - a complete redraft would be needed to deal with that.

It's clear that the schedulers tried to deliver a service from Connolly to Clongriffin, Portmarnock and Malahide through a combination of DARTs and Commuter trains.

I do understand your frustration (in particular about the four car DART), but the rest of it is by no means as simple and straightforward as you make it out to be. It needs a timetable recast to allow for the DART dwell time at Malahide - otherwise services would be blocked.

And being honest about it - on a wider point (not your commute specifically), plenty of people don't have a bus/train home directly when they finish work. Many people have to wait a short period to get their bus/train home. At the same time - you shouldn't, but that's another discussion.

Last edited by berneyarms : 01-02-2016 at 18:02.
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Unread 01-02-2016, 17:47   #123
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It would appear quite obvious that an extra 2 cars on the 17:58 would go a long way towards providing a vastly improved service towards Malahide.

But the consequences of the timetable change would effectively make the train impractical for the commute I've been doing for 12 years. In that time, my evening train option has gone from a comfortable train at exactly the right time that does the journey in an hour and 20 minutes to a choice of an uncomfortable train at exactly the right time or a two comfortable trains an hour either side of the right time, all of which take 15 to 20 minutes longer than what was achievable before Irish Rail invested tens of millions in new trains, new signalling, level crossing automation and platform lengthening. With the new timetable the 0545 from Sligo will take longer to get from Longford to Connolly than the old 0700ish service from Longford despite having 7 fewer stops.

We should have expected massive improvements in reliability due to the improvements in traction from railcars and the extra allowed journey time yet I don't really see any difference at all. This winter has been utterly awful - this morning's train was 15 minutes late yet there was no explanation or apology. This wasn't the signalling issue of the day as the train was this late by the time it got to Edgeworthstown.

The same pattern seems to have been repeated for the DART - massive investment in trains, platforms and signalling and the result of each investment seems to be a new timetable that is slower and less reliable than the previous timetable. Does the DART run any closer to timetable than it did 25 years ago when it could complete the journey in 10 minutes less time? It certainly is no more reliable than when I started commuting.
No matter how much you invest in signalling, if frequency increases significantly on a single track line with passing loops, you are inevitably going to have increased likelihood of delays due to the knock-on effects of any delay that happens.

That's why there is the 10 minute wait at Edgeworthstown and Boyle in either direction - it's an attempt to keep a level of resilience in the timetable.

The proposed changes on the Sligo line really do not have anything to do with the increased DART service levels, but I suspect have more to do with changes in permanent speed restrictions on the route for whatever reason.

However the company seem to be shooting themselves in the foot with the scheduling of the lunchtime train which could be scheduled 40 minutes earlier and significantly faster.

Similarly, you cannot compare the DART 25 years ago with today - there are way more trains passing through the central section of the line between Connolly and Pearse, and that will necessarily mean longer journey times overall as they try to fit all of the trains through that space.

You've only got to look at commuter routes into and out of London - exactly the same thing has happened. Journey times have increased as the number of trains operated has also increased.
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Unread 01-02-2016, 18:12   #124
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The 10 minutes extra running time on Sligo is nothing to with waiting for crossing. They generally make the up train wait at Edgeworthstown anyway, but even if down train was waiting at Edgeworthstown it wouldn't affect people going there. You're right, a lot of the drop in reliability for Sligo is due to the fact that every train now has to cross with at least 2 others - if not more. Until a couple of years ago, there was one train that had to cross with 5 others and things have got a bit better since they got rid of that.

What amazes me is that stuff like this can go into timetables and remain there for years - another example is the 1905 to Sligo which is 10 minutes late at Mullingar every single time I take it and has been for the last 7 years or however long it's been running. The proposed timetable has a proposed 1700 departure from Docklands which any idiot can see will hold up the 1705 Connolly express departure. How can a supposed planning expert come up with this kind of stuff?

The sad thing about all of this is that a supposed service improvement which will cost more money to operate has ended up pissing everyone off, makes nothing significantly better for anyone that couldn't be sorted another way and makes things significantly worse for the vast majority of railway users.

Anyway, I can't see this timetable change happening given that it will only run for about 6 months before the PPT is done. There should also be further modifications when BXD opens to take advantage of improved connectivity at Broombridge, but I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't happen.
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Unread 01-02-2016, 18:24   #125
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No matter how much you invest in signalling, if frequency increases significantly on a single track line with passing loops, you are inevitably going to have increased likelihood of delays due to the knock-on effects of any delay that happens.
Yes however it's about how such delays are managed. I would be in favor of a system to not delay everything but one service. Lets say there is 10 minutes between two crossing points. If X service is running more than 10 minutes late then it should be held at it's location and Y service allowed to operate on time. A massive amount of service disruption is because IE decided to delay everything which could last hours before schedules recover instead of delayed one service by an extra 10 minutes. It would not work all the time but you would see a significant improvement in service.

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The proposed changes on the Sligo line really do not have anything to do with the increased DART service levels, but I suspect have more to do with changes in permanent speed restrictions on the route for whatever reason.
Replacing the 16.00 with an 09.30 out of Dublin is 100% down to increasing fleet utilization or removing a unit at Connolly. The rest of the changes are more less accommodating as many as possible up to normal schedules at 17.05.

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They generally make the up train wait at Edgeworthstown anyway, but even if down train was waiting at Edgeworthstown it wouldn't affect people going there. You're right, a lot of the drop in reliability for Sligo is due to the fact that every train now has to cross with at least 2 others - if not more. Until a couple of years ago, there was one train that had to cross with 5 others and things have got a bit better since they got rid of that.
Crossing with 2 trains is perfectly doable provided schedulers are done right. More than 2 then there will be some issues when tings go wrong however with good scheduled those can be reduced. Anymore than 3 then singe line does not function more less at all and if it does it's not time friendly. Galway/Westport prefect example.
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Unread 01-02-2016, 19:24   #126
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The 10 minutes extra running time on Sligo is nothing to with waiting for crossing. They generally make the up train wait at Edgeworthstown anyway, but even if down train was waiting at Edgeworthstown it wouldn't affect people going there. You're right, a lot of the drop in reliability for Sligo is due to the fact that every train now has to cross with at least 2 others - if not more. Until a couple of years ago, there was one train that had to cross with 5 others and things have got a bit better since they got rid of that.

What amazes me is that stuff like this can go into timetables and remain there for years - another example is the 1905 to Sligo which is 10 minutes late at Mullingar every single time I take it and has been for the last 7 years or however long it's been running. The proposed timetable has a proposed 1700 departure from Docklands which any idiot can see will hold up the 1705 Connolly express departure. How can a supposed planning expert come up with this kind of stuff?

The sad thing about all of this is that a supposed service improvement which will cost more money to operate has ended up pissing everyone off, makes nothing significantly better for anyone that couldn't be sorted another way and makes things significantly worse for the vast majority of railway users.

Anyway, I can't see this timetable change happening given that it will only run for about 6 months before the PPT is done. There should also be further modifications when BXD opens to take advantage of improved connectivity at Broombridge, but I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't happen.

Within the existing timetable, most trains cross with three trains en route:
the first at Maynooth, the second at Edgeworthstown and the third at Boyle.

That imposes restrictions in terms of how the railway can operate and on overall journey times. The timetable has some resilience built into it - trains in the "down" direction (i.e. towards Sligo) have extra dwell time built into the schedule at Edgeworthstown and trains in the "up" direction (i.e. towards Dublin) have extra dwell time built into the schedule at Boyle.

You have to have that on single track routes in order to have some resilience in the event of a train being delayed somewhere, otherwise everything would collapse. This is standard practice in scheduling. It's not there for a whim - it's there to try and keep the service running as reliably as possible. It's certainly not a ridiculous idea by any means. One look at similar single track lines anywhere will show you that the same principle is applied.

The number of trains was reduced by one in either direction simply as a cost cutting measure - nothing more than that, but it has the effect of reducing the possibility of delays to the 18:00 from Sligo and the trains that it crosses.

I can't comment on why the 19:05 is delayed, but something is obviously delaying the 18:00 further along the line and causing the 19:05 to wait longer at Killucan than it is supposed to.

I don't think that the 17:00 ex-Docklands would impact on the 17:05 that much to be honest - it's a shorter route to Glasnevin Junction from Docklands than from Connolly, so it should be about 10 minutes ahead of it by there, which allowing for 30 second station stops, should still have it 5 minutes ahead of the 17:05 at Clonsilla. The 17:05 also has to cross the 15:00 at Maynooth, so accelerating the 17:05 any more isn't going to solve anything.

With infrastructure limitations such as mixing Intercity and Commuter services with no passing facilities, and running a reasonably frequent service on a single track, scheduling can be a bloody difficult job to do - far more difficult than most people even remotely consider.

And to clarify, the comment that I made about the Sligo line changes was in relation to the slightly longer journey times for most trains - and that it is, from what I can glean, looking in detail at the proposed timetables, in all likelihood down to changes in the permanent speed restrictions for whatever reason, which has meant that maintaining the clock face timetable becomes impossible.

Now the question I would have is what's causing the changes in the PSRs? Is it to do with changes in sighting for signals or what?

Also, if you then sit down and try to path in the extra Friday train around 16:00 it's nigh on impossible to do it any faster with the new running times - having examined it I don't see how it can be accelerated.

The lunchtime "down" service in the proposed timetable could however be accelerated somewhat by leaving 40 minutes earlier - why it's scheduled as it is, is beyond me.

Last edited by berneyarms : 01-02-2016 at 19:38.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 08:47   #127
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From the outset - let me make it clear that I'm not in any way defending the use of the four car set - it shouldn't be there, full stop.
And that is the root of the problem and the fact Irish Rail don't do anything about it

Quote:
But at the same time it's not correct to continually suggest that people have to wait until 18:46. They don't, and I think you should acknowledge that. There is a viable connecting service at 18:13, which while it may not suit you ideally, could suit anyone finishing a little later.
Do you think it is acceptable for someone who finishes work at 5.30, which is not exactly an uncommon start time, in the biggest business park close to the city centre have to wait 30 minutes to leave the station right next to their workplace seeing the only train you can take direct go past full and then have to wait another 10 minutes for a connecting train, so you get home approx 1hr 15 mins after leaving work.

You can drive the whole way in 15 minutes. Tell me what incentive there is to take public transport with a solution like that? The problem is not just restricted to the 17:58 being 4 cars, the 18:46 is also four cars and if I word late sometimes I can't board that either!

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The reason there are more Howth DARTs than to Malahide in the current timetable is more to do with the infrastructure constraints at Malahide - a complete redraft would be needed to deal with that.
Well clearly the current set-up is failing people, if people are getting left behind on the only direct train for 50 minutes and the one that follows it also has the same problem, there is something not quite right. They can manage it in morning peak, so why not do a full redraft in evening peak?

I read people here moaning about commuters being held up by DARTS, which I really feel sorry for them, because it is not acceptable, but their total journey time even with this is still less than it's taking me from Clontarf to Clongriffin every night taking into account the time I'm waiting at the station for a train after finishing work indeed, there's only one thing than being on a slow running train and that is not being able to board at all.

Quote:
I do understand your frustration (in particular about the four car DART), but the rest of it is by no means as simple and straightforward as you make it out to be. It needs a timetable recast to allow for the DART dwell time at Malahide - otherwise services would be blocked.
And being honest about it - on a wider point (not your commute specifically), plenty of people don't have a bus/train home directly when they finish work. Many people have to wait a short period to get their bus/train home. At the same time - you shouldn't, but that's another discussion.[/quote]

That's what passing loops are supposed to be created for. If they were A) properly built in both directions and B) used properly with a timetable to make the most of them this could help the service for everyone.

I agree with what you are saying but:
Leave work 17:30
Arrive Clontarf 17:45-ish
Cannot board train at 17.58
Board Train at 18:13
Alight at Howth Jct 18:24
Board at Howth Junction 18:32
Alight at Clongriffin 18:35

Bearing in mind that commuter is normally at least 5 minutes late, normally closer to 10, and it's 18:45.

Alternatively
Leave work in car 17:30
Arrive home in car 17:50

Tell me who wins.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 09:05   #128
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And that is the root of the problem and the fact Irish Rail don't do anything about it

Do you think it is acceptable for someone who finishes work at 5.30, which is not exactly an uncommon start time, in the biggest business park close to the city centre have to wait 30 minutes to leave the station right next to their workplace seeing the only train you can take direct go past full and then have to wait another 10 minutes for a connecting train, so you get home approx 1hr 15 mins after leaving work.

You can drive the whole way in 15 minutes. Tell me what incentive there is to take public transport with a solution like that? The problem is not just restricted to the 17:58 being 4 cars, the 18:46 is also four cars and if I word late sometimes I can't board that either!

Well clearly the current set-up is failing people, if people are getting left behind on the only direct train for 50 minutes and the one that follows it also has the same problem, there is something not quite right. They can manage it in morning peak, so why not do a full redraft in evening peak?

I read people here moaning about commuters being held up by DARTS, which I really feel sorry for them, because it is not acceptable, but their total journey time even with this is still less than it's taking me from Clontarf to Clongriffin every night taking into account the time I'm waiting at the station for a train after finishing work indeed, there's only one thing than being on a slow running train and that is not being able to board at all.

That's what passing loops are supposed to be created for. If they were A) properly built in both directions and B) used properly with a timetable to make the most of them this could help the service for everyone.

I agree with what you are saying but:
Leave work 17:30
Arrive Clontarf 17:45-ish
Cannot board train at 17.58
Board Train at 18:13
Alight at Howth Jct 18:24
Board at Howth Junction 18:32
Alight at Clongriffin 18:35

Bearing in mind that commuter is normally at least 5 minutes late, normally closer to 10, and it's 18:45.

Alternatively
Leave work in car 17:30
Arrive home in car 17:50

Tell me who wins.
Ummm - in case I've missed something, the proposed timetable is a complete redraft which is why the Malahide and Howth split can change.

Just to point out that some years back IE did propose a turnback siding at Malahide beyond the station, but local residents objected and it was canned, so things are not as straightforward as you make out.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 09:26   #129
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I never said that they were straightforward but there is a straightforward fix in the evening peak which Irish Rail refuse to do, so instead seeing as they are not interested in the easy fix, clearly other options have to be brought up.

All my dealings with Irish Rail have been unsatisfactory about the issue and they believe there is nothing wrong there, the fact that people are getting left behind often on the 17:58 appears not to bother them one iota..

If the 17:58 had the right number of carriages in line with capacity all of the rest would be irrelevant, but it doesn't and therefore the other issues are going to be brought up.

If they refuse to put into service any of the 20 something carriages sitting out they can always take two off the 6 car Howth that operates around that time, which carries a lot of fresh air.

Right now there are 14 cars to Howth going through Clontarf between 17:32 and 17:51. It might mean a passenger to Howth has to not have two seats to themselves for the whole journey or even may have to stand occasionally though.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 09:33   #130
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not to be argumentative but how on earth do you get from East Point to Clongriffin in 20 minutes at 5.30pm? Google maps says it takes 18 minutes without traffic. Do you use the port tunnel?

While i understand and acknowledge your frustration at not being able to board trains (which is unacceptable) a commute of circa an hour is not the worst thing in the world.

I commute from Northwood to Ballsbridge (drive and get on the train in clontarf) and it takes me c. an hour in the morning starting my journey at 6.50am. If i dont go to the gym on my way home and go straight home from work my journey time in the car is substantially increased as it is rush hour.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 09:39   #131
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Also - i think you are exxaggerating somewhat when you say the howth trains have fresh air - they are typically pretty near to full until Howth Junction.

The only time they seem to be empty is when the trains have been delayed for some reason and whole bunch filter through town within a 10 minute space.

Having lived in Sutton (in the same way the greystones people are affected) where you cant get every dart either (because you cant get a malahide train) sometimes when you are beyond the peak areas of the dart (which i consider from town out to howth junction), its unfortunate but you do suffer a reduction in available service because you are not in the core areas.

Are there proven passenger numbers that the vast majority of people on the malahide train are NOT alighting until after Howth Junction?

I'm not saying its fair that you get a lesser service, but i can also look at it logically and see that its a business (not necessarily a well run one) and they have to fund for the majority not the minority...
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Unread 02-02-2016, 10:03   #132
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I never said that they were straightforward but there is a straightforward fix in the evening peak which Irish Rail refuse to do, so instead seeing as they are not interested in the easy fix, clearly other options have to be brought up.

All my dealings with Irish Rail have been unsatisfactory about the issue and they believe there is nothing wrong there, the fact that people are getting left behind often on the 17:58 appears not to bother them one iota..

If the 17:58 had the right number of carriages in line with capacity all of the rest would be irrelevant, but it doesn't and therefore the other issues are going to be brought up.

If they refuse to put into service any of the 20 something carriages sitting out they can always take two off the 6 car Howth that operates around that time, which carries a lot of fresh air.

Right now there are 14 cars to Howth going through Clontarf between 17:32 and 17:51. It might mean a passenger to Howth has to not have two seats to themselves for the whole journey or even may have to stand occasionally though.
It isn't as simple as you make out though.

The bottom line remains that they can't afford to have all of the sets in service (unless the PSO subsidy is increased, which it is being specifically increased for to fund the new service).

In terms of what sets work which trains, you also have to look at what trains those sets work throughout the day (they could be on very busy schools trains in the afternoon) and also where and when a set swap can take place to increase the train length - realistically that's only at Bray or Connolly.

It's somewhat a case of you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

Incidentally, you've previously commented on half-empty southbound trains at Connolly while your northbound train was jammed. That's frankly a meaningless observation - a realistic question would be whether they were half-empty leaving Grand Canal Dock having passed through the city centre.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 10:11   #133
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not to be argumentative but how on earth do you get from East Point to Clongriffin in 20 minutes at 5.30pm? Google maps says it takes 18 minutes without traffic. Do you use the port tunnel?
I haven't driven for a while, but when I have or got a lift it has been 20-25 minutes. A train doesn't run on time either, more often than not that is also late so if you're gonna add on 5 minutes for the traffic make sure you allow for the train which is almost at least 5 minutes late as well.

Quote:
I commute from Northwood to Ballsbridge (drive and get on the train in clontarf) and it takes me c. an hour in the morning starting my journey at 6.50am.
With all due respect, it's about twice the distance for the route you are taking.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 10:17   #134
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It isn't as simple as you make out though. The bottom line remains that they can't afford to have all of the sets in service (unless the PSO subsidy is increased, which it is being specifically increased for to fund the new service).

n terms of what sets work which trains, you also have to look at what trains those sets work throughout the day (they could be on very busy schools trains in the afternoon) and also where and when a set swap can take place to increase the train length - realistically that's only at Bray or Connolly.
Nobody is asking them to put more sets out, although that is one solution, another is to change some allocations. People getting behind is not acceptable on a low frequency service. There are a 4 car and a 6 car and a 4 car to Howth in 20 minutes which are nowhere near as busy as the Malahide's. there is over capacity there. If that means someone else has to stand, well tough luck, be happy you can get on.

Quote:
Incidentally, you've previously commented on half-empty southbound trains at Connolly while your northbound train was jammed. That's frankly a meaningless observation - a realistic question would be whether they were half-empty leaving Grand Canal Dock having passed through the city centre.
Incidentally I could argue that is exactly why Irish Rail are providing inadequate service - you make that point, but they are clearly not applying the same logic to the 17:58, on one hand you argue that some trains are carrying fresh air because other services are busy on return or outbound legs, but the 17:58 is busy and that is not taken into account.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 10:28   #135
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Also - i think you are exxaggerating somewhat when you say the howth trains have fresh air - they are typically pretty near to full until Howth Junction.
Clearly, people who are taking a Howth service are so used to trains being empty because I can count 70-80 people standing on each carriage on the 17:58 every night religiously and those numbers are not exaggerated. There would be more if space permitted. At worst on those Howth trains I'm seeing 15-20 people standing, nowhere near full, and a lot of those services have at least a few seats spare. Just because a few people are standing doesn't mean it's full.

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Having lived in Sutton (in the same way the greystones people are affected) where you cant get every dart either (because you cant get a malahide train) sometimes when you are beyond the peak areas of the dart (which i consider from town out to howth junction), its unfortunate but you do suffer a reduction in available service because you are not in the core areas.
It's not about service, it's about capacity first and foremost. I can't believe someone from Sutton can possibly moan though about evening peak service, the Howth Dart frequency in evening peak is MUCH higher than that of Malahide and at the end of the day, if you do miss a train the next one is only 10-15 mins away.

Quote:
Are there proven passenger numbers that the vast majority of people on the malahide train are NOT alighting until after Howth Junction?
To give you an idea of how bad it is, the proceeding Howth train sometimes has more passengers for Malahide, Clongriffin and Portmarnock than it does for Howth, Sutton and Baysid quite often. I've come off that train at Howth Junction and there was no more than a dozen people in each carriage since it's the third train in 20 minutes to Howth.

The 17:58 train deposits a few passengers at Killester, Harmonstown, Raheny and Kilbarack, but it's normally only a handful or so each carriage I'd say, still badly overcrowded. At Howth Junction it gets busier still, with approx 50-60 people waiting on the Platform for Malahide quite often. Very occasionally, people have not been able to board at Howth Junction, but least there is a commuter behind.

Irish Rail however are only basing passenger numbers on before the split, in all my dealings with them they told me about passenger numbers through Connolly and Howth Trains were busy but it was clear that the actual destination of the passengers was not being taken into account which is absolutely essential in any proper capacity planning.

Last edited by Dublin13 : 02-02-2016 at 10:31.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 10:38   #136
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Originally Posted by Dublin13 View Post
I haven't driven for a while, but when I have or got a lift it has been 20-25 minutes. A train doesn't run on time either, more often than not that is also late so if you're gonna add on 5 minutes for the traffic make sure you allow for the train which is almost at least 5 minutes late as well.



With all due respect, it's about twice the distance for the route you are taking.
I'm not comparing the distance between northwood and clongriffin but i grew up in bayside and i think you are vastly under estimating your return journey home...it probably doesn't feel as long because it is more comfortable....

I'm just saying if it really is a 20 minute car journey then the train makes no sense whatsoever so why have you been persevering with it for so long...i wouldnt have had the patience!
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Unread 02-02-2016, 10:47   #137
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Originally Posted by Dublin13 View Post
Clearly, people who are taking a Howth service are so used to trains being empty because I can count 70-80 people standing on each carriage on the 17:58 every night religiously and those numbers are not exaggerated. There would be more if space permitted. At worst on those Howth trains I'm seeing 15-20 people standing, nowhere near full, and a lot of those services have at least a few seats spare. Just because a few people are standing doesn't mean it's full.



It's not about service, it's about capacity first and foremost. I can't believe someone from Sutton can possibly moan though about evening peak service, the Howth Dart frequency in evening peak is MUCH higher than that of Malahide and at the end of the day, if you do miss a train the next one is only 10-15 mins away.



To give you an idea of how bad it is, the proceeding Howth train sometimes has more passengers for Malahide, Clongriffin and Portmarnock than it does for Howth, Sutton and Baysid quite often. I've come off that train at Howth Junction and there was no more than a dozen people in each carriage since it's the third train in 20 minutes to Howth.

The 17:58 train deposits a few passengers at Killester, Harmonstown, Raheny and Kilbarack, but it's normally only a handful or so each carriage I'd say, still badly overcrowded. At Howth Junction it gets busier still, with approx 50-60 people waiting on the Platform for Malahide quite often. Very occasionally, people have not been able to board at Howth Junction, but least there is a commuter behind.

Irish Rail however are only basing passenger numbers on before the split, in all my dealings with them they told me about passenger numbers through Connolly and Howth Trains were busy but it was clear that the actual destination of the passengers was not being taken into account which is absolutely essential in any proper capacity planning.
you talk about a handful of people getting off at killester etc..how many get off at Clongriffin? i'm not saying you aren't hard done by but you are unlucky that (1) you are getting on at a non-city centre station so the main lines dont tend to stop and (2) you are getting off at non core station so the main lines dont tend to stop.

While you are most definitely underserved for what you need are the majority of malahide people - maybe the people you see getting off at Howth Junction wouldnt have made the earlier malahide train anyway - we have no way of knowing....

And while i take your point about there being plenty of howth trains but often its the mainlines get priority and i could have been stuck waiting ages for a howth train. for example in the morning the 7.20(ish) from bayside always gets held waiting for the mainline to come through howth junction when its late - even if it means waiting 10+ minutes.

I think the takeaway is the underlying irish rail service is terrible for what we pay for it. the amount of times i turn up at Lansdown station to see the board tell me a train is arriving in 3 minutes which turns into 10 (even though i can see the train down the line, inching its way to the station)...or when it gets held outside GCD for no apparent reason.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 11:01   #138
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I'm just saying if it really is a 20 minute car journey then the train makes no sense whatsoever so why have you been persevering with it for so long...i wouldnt have had the patience!
In the morning I can leave home at 7.30am and get to work for 8.00am.

In the evening if I could be sure of boarding the 17:58 could get home for 6.15pm.

The morning commute is fine, the evening commute is so-so, but take into account not being able to board and it's unacceptable.

My Annual taxsaver is the reason I've still been there and the problem with the 17:58 is that it has gradually got worse over 12 months.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 11:08   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegas82 View Post
you talk about a handful of people getting off at killester etc..how many get off at Clongriffin? i'm not saying you aren't hard done by but you are unlucky that (1) you are getting on at a non-city centre station so the main lines dont tend to stop and (2) you are getting off at non core station so the main lines dont tend to stop.
At least 100 are getting off that train at Clongriffin, and that may be a touch on the conservative side. Pretty much all the DART's into Clongriffin are alighting about 80-90 in the second half of evening peak, the commuters that do stop a bit less.

Quote:
While you are most definitely underserved for what you need are the majority of malahide people - maybe the people you see getting off at Howth Junction wouldnt have made the earlier malahide train anyway - we have no way of knowing....
The Train I am talking about is 7 minutes before the Malahide, people who I used to see get the 17:58 who presumably decided they were far better off getting the Howth in the knowledge that they may not be able to board the Malahide and have a better chance at boarding at Howth Junction.

Quote:
And while i take your point about there being plenty of howth trains but often its the mainlines get priority and i could have been stuck waiting ages for a howth train. for example in the morning the 7.20(ish) from bayside always gets held waiting for the mainline to come through howth junction when its late - even if it means waiting 10+ minutes.
I agree, but delays are not unique to the Howth branch, my other half is getting the 16:54 DART from Connolly regularly and that is almost always 5-10 minutes late, getting held up by the Enterprise leaving Connolly late by a few minutes and the commuter that is a also ahead of it that is also late. The last few days that DART seems to be only around 5 minutes late, but it's common for it to be at least 10 minutes late.
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Unread 02-02-2016, 13:35   #140
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The 1654 from Connolly is almost never delayed by the Enterprise, it originates in Greystones and is frequently late departing from there. Like some other services originating in Greystones it is habitually late. This will probably be more of an issue with the 10 minute interval DART service as turn-around time in Greystones is reduced and the potential for congestion related delays greatly increased.

As for the 1758 Malahide service, it is obvious that the issue is that there is too much traffic for a four car train - either six or even eight cars need to be rostered. Given the DART fleet size and the amount of idle DART equipment this should not be an insurmountable issue to resolve. A lot of money and massive disruption was invested in lengthening platforms, moving signals and upgrading electrical equipment to facilitate 8 car DARTs and yet IR insist on running 4 car trains during the peak.
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