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Unread 16-07-2013, 11:19   #21
Inniskeen
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Took a bit of a ramble from Galway to Dublin via Limerick and Nenagh a few days ago.

The numbers using varying services were interesting

1345 Galway/Limerick - 40 passengers leaving Athenry, 14 off, 18 on at Ennis.
1420 Limerick/Galway - 30 passengers off at Ennis, 25 departing Ennis

1540 Limerick Junction/Limerick (1400 ex Dublin, 1420 ex Cork) - 34 passengers arriving at Limerick.

1622 Limerick Junction/Limerick (1520 ex Cork) - 3 passengers.

1655 Limerick/Ballybrophy - 16 passengers leaving Limerick, 8 off at Castleconnell, 3 on, 2 off at Nenagh, 1 on, 2 off at Cloughjordan and 1 off at Roscrea.

1720 Cork/Dublin - 100 passengers leaving Ballybrophy.

1945 Heuston/Portlaoise - 55/65 passengers

2030 DART ex Howth, approx 500 seats, about 40 passengers inbound at Clontarf Road.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 12:07   #22
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More interesting than you'd think.

you were very lucky with that ballybrophy service considering there was no service 8,9,10,11, and 15th July.

any idea how many of the passengers you observed were full ticket price paying?

is 25 or 16 passengers an acceptable figure?

Is a figure of 3 on a shuttle service acceptable?

the 100 passengers at ballybrophy would be paying a lot of money as they would ahve got on before then and would be going to dublin. Of course there would be a certain amount of Free passes on that too, maybe students.

is 40 an acceptable number on a frequent mid-evening post peak city service, as opposed to a mid afternoon intercity service?

what can be done to increase those numbers. None of them really are any good. Perhaps all of those services should be cut.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 12:10   #23
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we should also read this thread in conjunction with these posts

http://www.railusers.ie/forum/showthread.php?t=14815
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Unread 16-07-2013, 12:59   #24
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The Limerick J to Limerick shuttle when I have travelled on it, they have very light loads. I have being on the last 4 evening departures towards Dublin over the last year any and it's very common for below 15 on the services. At most 25 on afternoon services via the Junction from Dublin.

From being on the 17.20 from Cork a lot of the traffic is make up of a Rail tour group and OAP's with some commuter traffic to Mallow.

What we do know is that IE will need more savings from services next timetable so something will have to change.

Cork, Limerick and Galway will surly have to give some savings, It would be a bold and very unjustifiable move to cut Waterford again and IMO they can't as numbers on most services are quiet good and the fleet reconfiguration will save costs.

The numbers on some Galway services are appalling at times.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 13:20   #25
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I'm not sure that the point hasn't been reached where cutting a service will cut revenue enough that it's self-defeating.

From that point of view, they'll either need to look at increasing revenues or cutting costs in other areas.

For revenue, there really are a few areas that you would think of as easy wins - selling newspapers on InterCity trains, selling hotel rooms on the website (all this needs is a link and an affiliate code) or extending that to rail/hotel packages. Yield management is more challenging, especially with the number of free passes around.

Costs? Well, do they have any form of continuous improvement system? That tends to be an all round good idea. Staff think they get listened to and are more accepting of change. The company gets to see reduced cost.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 15:17   #26
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Yes it about improving yield however the Cork/Limerick route capacity is well above demand which is compressing revenue on the route. Over capacity is why they have introduced 9.99 fares on plenty of services. Reducing services will improve revenue and reduce costs which is what's needed. There is more services to Limerick per day than Cork when direct and indirect are included. You could easily cut a few shuttle services during off peak hours.

Like why do they have a 16.00, 16.25, 17.00, 17.25 services to Limerick daily, yes Cork services are slightly quicker however the costs savings will easily stack up if the shuttle was stopped.

Until capacity drops, yields won't increase at all in fact they could reduce more as the 9.99 fares can make people very flexible and these passengers who were paying lets say 20 euro will now pay 50% less.

It can't go on and IE will have to realise it sometime.

I would like to see a day on all intercity routes either a Tuesday or Wednesday the quietest days and we would get the real picture on loads.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 16:45   #27
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I think Limk Junction-Limk balances out in the grand scheme of things passenger number wise given some services are very very busy (Friday evenings comes to mind) and some are rather quiet, like the ones mentioned here.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 20:16   #28
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You have to be careful when talking about cuts to services, for what I think are sound business reasons.

These days, a train may make 3 to 5 single intercity journeys in a day. Some of these may be lightly loaded, but they are part of a longer link, so they can't be dropped without disrupting other services.

Also the marginal cost of train operation is probably much lower now: you don't need quite as many passengers to cover the costs of operating a 3-car ICR as you would have with a 201 and 9 MkIIIs.

When the hourly Cork service was introduced, it lead to increased patronage, even allowing for the general bubble-era boom in traffic. Good frequency attracts custom and lower frequency would also mean more stops on the Cork line and thus an even worse competitive situation vis-a-vis the motorway.

Jamie2k9: The Galway line had its service level increased this year, against the general trend, so I assume that business maust be good. (for what it's worth, the 2 trains I was on yesterday were well-filled)
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Unread 16-07-2013, 22:11   #29
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Jamie2k9: The Galway line had its service level increased this year, against the general trend, so I assume that business maust be good. (for what it's worth, the 2 trains I was on yesterday were well-filled)
It did but I would love to know if it added numbers on the route as from what I can see it just took from others, have not seen loads recently but its the summer so they will be lower anyway. The extra services just added major delays daily on the route and now most Galway services have up to 15 added from end of the month. I bet passengers will be delighted about this.

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When the hourly Cork service was introduced, it lead to increased patronage, even allowing for the general bubble-era boom in traffic. Good frequency attracts custom and lower frequency would also mean more stops on the Cork line and thus an even worse competitive situation vis-a-vis the motorway.
Fully agree but it can't be sustained, we are not talking about major cuts but if one or two services per day were cut it would add up over a year. Don't agree about more stops as the cuts wouldn't have any major impact.

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You have to be careful when talking about cuts to services, for what I think are sound business reasons.

These days, a train may make 3 to 5 single intercity journeys in a day. Some of these may be lightly loaded, but they are part of a longer link, so they can't be dropped without disrupting other services.
It just comes down to better scheduling and I don't agree with your comment about longer link as it could all be sorted out.
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Unread 16-07-2013, 23:56   #30
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Originally Posted by Jamie2k9 View Post
The Limerick J to Limerick shuttle when I have travelled on it, they have very light loads. I have being on the last 4 evening departures towards Dublin over the last year any and it's very common for below 15 on the services. At most 25 on afternoon services via the Junction from Dublin.

From being on the 17.20 from Cork a lot of the traffic is make up of a Rail tour group and OAP's with some commuter traffic to Mallow.
In the evening peak, most Limerick-bound passengers would be using the direct trains from Dublin.
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Unread 17-07-2013, 01:04   #31
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In the evening peak, most Limerick-bound passengers would be using the direct trains from Dublin.
Fully understand where your coming from but does Limerick need 5 trains between 15.25 and 17.25. 5 trains in 2 hours how can IE justify this, they cannot say that there is demand for 5 trains. Even Cork only has 2 services in the same period.

Can you justify 5 services in 2 hours and there is no way IE can say yes there is demand for all these services and they are no carrying major losses. 1508 seats (includes 3 6 car direct and 2 3 car shuttle) point to point traffic to Limerick would be well below 500, I think around 200 in this period on an average weekday. It's its absolute madness that this carry on is happening when they are 22 million in the red and IE go after other routes and cut capacity when they know full well full capacity is needed.
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Unread 17-07-2013, 10:24   #32
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Originally Posted by Jamie2k9 View Post
Fully understand where your coming from but does Limerick need 5 trains between 15.25 and 17.25. 5 trains in 2 hours how can IE justify this, they cannot say that there is demand for 5 trains. Even Cork only has 2 services in the same period.
the problem being that these shuttles connect with cork trains and also waterford ones?

So you have one shuttle from the ex-cork train, one from the ex-dublin train, one to the waterford train and one back? you can hardly go back to the time of the long long gaps hanging about in the junction. without the shuttles i think you would have a knock on in relation to waterford services.

surely its one train anyway? going to and fro to the junction?
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Unread 17-07-2013, 12:24   #33
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the problem being that these shuttles connect with cork trains and also waterford ones?

So you have one shuttle from the ex-cork train, one from the ex-dublin train, one to the waterford train and one back? you can hardly go back to the time of the long long gaps hanging about in the junction. without the shuttles i think you would have a knock on in relation to waterford services.

surely its one train anyway? going to and fro to the junction?
16.25 Heuston-Limerick connects with the inbound Waterford services and the outbound services meets the 17.00 to Cork connects with it and the shuttle from Limerick.

I am just saying some better scheduling could deliver greater efficiency. The 15.00 to Cork doesn't connect for Limerick and I don't see a need for the 16.00 to either. Keep the 17.00 services which carries the most traffic, average 25-30 connection onto Limerick when I used it.

As for connections off Cork train, is demand high to justify such a large services, I have never saw double numbers connect. Oh and there is at least 2 trains doing the limerick shuttle.

As I said greater efficiency can and needs to be delivered.
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Unread 17-07-2013, 12:36   #34
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As with so many things in Irish regional rail, it's the design of Limerick Junction that causes the problem here.

It ends up with running far too many services because a train to Limerick or Waterford can't connect with both a Dublin-bound and Cork-bound train at the same time.

If you can manage that part, you only need 1 shuttle and hour.

The question then becomes what are the operational savings and can they justify the capital cost of realignment.
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Unread 18-07-2013, 20:13   #35
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As with so many things in Irish regional rail, it's the design of Limerick Junction that causes the problem here.

It ends up with running far too many services because a train to Limerick or Waterford can't connect with both a Dublin-bound and Cork-bound train at the same time.

If you can manage that part, you only need 1 shuttle and hour.

The question then becomes what are the operational savings and can they justify the capital cost of realignment.
The layout does cause problems but there is still room for improvement as it is.
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Unread 19-07-2013, 17:10   #36
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For revenue, there really are a few areas that you would think of as easy wins - selling newspapers on InterCity trains, selling hotel rooms on the website (all this needs is a link and an affiliate code) or extending that to rail/hotel packages. Yield management is more challenging, especially with the number of free passes around.
This just appeared today:
http://www.irishrail.ie/cat_offers.jsp?i=4877

http://www.irishrailbreaks.ie/
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Unread 24-07-2013, 15:42   #37
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as i am always saying - there are several coachloads of tourists every day in roscrea. do those tour organisers even know there is a railway line into the town?
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Unread 25-07-2013, 01:54   #38
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depends on where they are coming from/going to no? Many of these tours may be door to door affairs so the train isn't necessarily the most convenient. Not being a naysayer, just trying to see how much of a sweetspot there actually is here.
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Unread 25-07-2013, 10:37   #39
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all uk tourists so i assume they hit dublin somewhere. all it takes is for IE to approach someone like PAB and hit them with an offer.
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Unread 29-07-2013, 21:22   #40
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It is amazing that the ghosts of Beeching and Marples now haunt the Irish rail network i.e trying to make things as difficult as possible for the customer with connections etc. Istead of saying we have a line between two major centres of population now lets make it work. Has nobody heard of rail tourism like in Scotland where they put on steam hauled trains that are very well patronised. Putting on trains when people want to use them, having connections that work. All I seem to hear is that this line should not have been built. Lets rejoice that it has been and make it work. People campaigned long and hard for this to be reopened lets hear possitive suggestions not just negativity at all time. Why do people not have the same love of railways that exsists in the UK? Not a single major heritage line in the country I have long suggested Midleton - Youghal for this, but no one seems interested. The railways of Ireland are a wonderful resource in a beautiful country instead of trying to make the system more compact MAKE IT WORK!!
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