A look at the new schedule, and an inserted stop at Maynooth on the Sligo evening train - stated as being a new option for people travelling from Connolly to Maynooth
- got me thinking once again about how things are done on a proper railway.
I have previously stated on these boards my admiration for the ticketing and fares policy of the MTA Railroads (particularly the Metro North Railroad, with which I am most familiar) which is simple, transparent, intuitive, easy to use and fits the needs of both the commuters and the railroad. Indeed I could write a short book about how just this one minor component of railway operations is superior in every respect to what is offered here.
But for the purpose of this particular issue, I will explain just one detail.
Mark Gleeson asked:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson
What of people traveling from Maynooth line stations onwards?
Maynooth is the commuter boundary - all Sligo trains should stop there
You can book to Sligo, you can't to Maynooth intercity travellers are not at a disadvantage
Well, here's one place where Metro North RR has the answer.
The railroad directly operates 3 main lines out of New York City. Two of them, the New Haven Line (which carries commuters between NYC and New Haven, Connecticut) and the Harlem line, which stays within New York State, pass a station in the Bronx called Fordham. A popular destination in its own right, Metro North in recent years decided to stop some New Haven/Harlem train there, above and beyond its normal Lower Harlem Line services there on the way to/from Grand Central Terminal.
However, to prevent people using the long distance trains as a "rat run" between Manhattan and Fordham, where their own local services or the Subway would be more appropriate, the stops carry restrictions, marked in the timetable as "Stops to Recieve passengers only" for trains leaving Grand Central, or "Stops to discharge passengers only" for trains going in.
On a train with a stop marked as such, a ticket between GCT and Fordham does NOT count as an acceptable fare - and this fact is announced on inbound trains on the Intercom, i.e. that if you get on here you will be charged the on-board fare for a trip from the last station.
On trains leaving Grand Central where a restricted stop is made at Fordham, this is not revealed on the station displays, i.e. the train has its first non R-restricted stop listed as its 1st stop.
This, I think, could be copied more or less detail-for-detail, on long distance services here, particularly at Maynooth, Drumcondra, Dun Laoighere, Bray and Greystones at least, and the Enterprise could use this structure to make stops in the immediate Dublin area in the future when you have more DART lines and stuff.