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Unread 16-04-2010, 08:30   #1
Eurochild
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Default Fridays 15:30 Rail/Bus service Dublin-Galway

It appears that this service - which on other weekdays splits in Athlone with one car going to Westport and the other going to Galway - is now permanently a bus service from Athlone to Galway on Fridays, when oversubscription means that both cars have to go to Westport from Athlone. Its even advertised as such on the Irish Rail website:



Interestingly they have the bus arriving in Galway at the same time as the scheduled train service, even though its down to leave Athlone two minutes later. I'd love to know how they plan to achieve this in Friday rush hour traffic.

My attempts to confirm that bus is now a permanent fixture on Fridays (and indeed other days of high demand such as Holy Thursday) have not met much success so far. I had a brief conversation with one of the staff at Athlone station the second week that buses appeared on a Friday, which went something along the lines of the following:

Me: "There's no train?!"
Him: "No"

Me: "Is this going to situation every Friday now?"
Him: "Looks that way, yeah"

Me: "This is ridiculous, I'm not paying 2 grand a year for an annual rail ticket to take the bus!?"
Him: "You'd better take it up with the management then".

Subsequently (8th March) I wrote to Customer Relations Southern and Western to see if I could establish what their plans for this service are. To date I have not received any reply. I am planning to write again but if anyone has any information I would be grateful if they could post.
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Unread 16-04-2010, 09:02   #2
Mark Gleeson
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Sadly this appears to be a Fridays only change due to shortage of trains.

We have met with Irish Rail and as usual got the run around when we sought additional rolling stock be put into service. They have a perfectly good train sitting idle but refuse to use it.

Since Irish Rail don't care we are going to go to the National Transport Authority and seek financial punishment on two grounds.

1. Failure to provide the service as per contract
2. Failure to provide 5 working days notice of a timetable change
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Unread 16-04-2010, 11:05   #3
sean
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Bet they're sorry they let all the Mk3s go to pot in record time now ... oh wait this is Irish Rail
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Unread 22-04-2010, 15:57   #4
Eurochild
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Sadly this appears to be a Fridays only change due to shortage of trains.

We have met with Irish Rail and as usual got the run around when we sought additional rolling stock be put into service. They have a perfectly good train sitting idle but refuse to use it.

Since Irish Rail don't care we are going to go to the National Transport Authority and seek financial punishment on two grounds.

1. Failure to provide the service as per contract
2. Failure to provide 5 working days notice of a timetable change
Thanks for posting and fair play for keeping them under pressure. For what its worth I wrote again last Friday. Nada by way of reply so far.
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Unread 23-04-2010, 08:32   #5
Mark Gleeson
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We have put the failures to the responsible manager in Irish Rail highlighting the non compliance. As in your experience we have received no reply. The NTA submission will make reference to the failure of Irish Rail to deal with the complaint as well.

Its not the only failure to advertise a change, its far too easy for IE to claim an oversight but we now have a three routes with strange things going on.

Once again today its a bus I'm afraid and there is a perfectly good set of coaches lying idle

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 23-04-2010 at 08:45.
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Unread 23-04-2010, 15:32   #6
dowlingm
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The idle set in question - is this a 22K set in Galway?
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Unread 23-04-2010, 17:05   #7
sublimity
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Bring back the Mk3's Iarnrod Eireann, even if it's only 1 or 2 sets. Badly needed.
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Unread 23-04-2010, 21:07   #8
sean
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Mark, I seem to recall you posted something about Irish Rail having planned to go to a fixed timetable, i.e. no provisions for specials, Monday inbound or Friday outbound extra trains. I even recall mention of IE hiring back Cravens from the preservationists to run concert specials etc. But this is all vague memories from years back.

IIRC one would have to think that this is a logical outcome of such planning.

Last edited by sean : 23-04-2010 at 21:18.
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Unread 09-05-2010, 17:43   #9
Mickey H
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If they are short of rolling stock why are they being so lazy about repairing the damaged 6 car 22k set? Also could not some of the vehicles from this set not be used to strengthen others as apparently only 3 coaches were damaged?
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Unread 09-05-2010, 20:03   #10
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If it's a 6-car set, it's not separable, as distinct from a 23 car set.
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Unread 09-05-2010, 20:39   #11
Mark Gleeson
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Its out to tender for repair currently as its expected to cost 200k plus for repair

Even with it available there was still a shortage
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Unread 09-05-2010, 20:58   #12
Thomas Ralph
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And meanwhile there are several dozen perfectly nice orange coaches sitting around...
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Unread 09-05-2010, 21:08   #13
Mark Gleeson
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The centre 4 coaches from a 6 coach set are not the identical to the centre coach on a 3 coach train so mix and match isn't easy. There are two types and the difference relates to brakes
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Unread 10-05-2010, 01:12   #14
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Just so we're all clear - we had to spend 106m (and the rest) to link Limerick and Galway by train just so Galway would be linked with Dublin by bus. What a country!
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