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Unread 24-02-2017, 15:55   #1
comcor
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Default In the event of a Bus Eireann strike, how much ability is there to increase capacity?

For the sake of discussion, let's assume
- A Bus Eireann strike doesn't spread to Irish Rail
- Unions in Irish Rail don't object to capacity being added.

A strike at Bus Eireann is looking more likely as every day goes on.

It occurs to me that there are some routes where Irish Rail provides the only competition to Bus Eireann. e.g.
- Cork-Tralee
- Limerick-Waterford
- Athlone-Westport (which might be for the permanent chop)

What's more, you have other locations where another competitor doesn't serve an intermediate town that is served by Irish Rail and Bus Eireann (e.g. Citylink doesn't serve Ennis, Charleville or Mallow)

Should that happen, there could be a considerable spike in demand for Irish Rail services along these corridors.

Cork-Tralee probably has enough capacity to cope (although maybe not on all services).

What would be Irish Rail's ability to react to this, by either increasing the length of trains on the services or even adding extra services?
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Unread 24-02-2017, 16:25   #2
James Howard
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Whatever about the first of your assumptions, the second is definitely not valid.

My understanding is that Irish Rail unions will not allow any extra capacity to be provided. Nor will they allow for Bus Eireann tickets to be redeemed on rail services. This has been the case for any recent strikes. Union members would regard any provision of extra services to help out the public as scabbing.

In any case, there isn't a huge amount of rolling stock lying in reserve in an operational condition that could be used to provide such services.
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Unread 24-02-2017, 17:07   #3
comcor
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So let's say they won't allow extra services to be run.

Could they object to existing trains being made longer?
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Unread 24-02-2017, 18:24   #4
James Howard
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In a word, Yes. They could object. Nobody is going to want to risk contagion.
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Unread 24-02-2017, 18:50   #5
berneyarms
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Quite frankly there isn't the rolling stock or drivers available to provide extra trains. Lengthening trains isn't really possible anymore given the fixed set formations.

Re ticketing - there is no agreement in place between the companies to accept one another's tickets, so that can't happen either.

I can imagine there would be regulatory issues for IE accepting commercially issued Expressway tickets on subsidised rail services in any case.
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Unread 25-02-2017, 01:40   #6
Jamie2k9
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The unions are just scaremongering employing that some IE depot staff won't turn up for work. As for capacity, by the time IE could (if they had capacity) organise it the BE strike would be over.

Quote:
- Cork-Tralee
- Limerick-Waterford
- Athlone-Westport (which might be for the permanent chop)
Waterford/Limerick is closed until 7 March (new bridge fitted yesterday evening) and Athlone-Westport could easily cope with demand in event of a strike and if the bus route is for the chop clearly little usage. Most routes particularly Cork off peak could cope with additional demand and even at peak hours for most part. Friday/Sundays been the exceptions.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 25-02-2017 at 01:47.
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