Rail Users Ireland Forum

Go Back   Rail Users Ireland Forum > General Information & Discussion > Events, Happenings and Media
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Unread 10-09-2013, 08:42   #1
Mark Gleeson
Technical Officer
 
Mark Gleeson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Coach C, Seat 33
Posts: 12,638
Default [article] Rail user group concerned about DART overcrowding

Quote:
Rail user group concerned about DART overcrowding
Train travellers group responds to Irish Rail plans to run shorter off-peak trains

Christopher McKinley


Rail Users Ireland (RUI), a representative body for train travellers, has said they are concerned that running shorter DART trains during off-peak hours may lead to overcrowding.

“On paper we’ve have no formal objection what they are doing,” RUI spokesman, Mark Gleeson, said while adding that it’s appropriate for the train length to suit the number of passengers it carries.

However, he argued that there’s a very high probability people will have to stand during off-peak hours.
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/irela...ding-1.1521459
Mark Gleeson is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-09-2013, 10:35   #2
ACustomer
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 735
Default

What worries me is that they will take a lazy approach and will not monitor overcrowding and make the necessary adjustments. Easier to leave a 2-car running on the same link most of the day.

It would seem that the only way to adjust trains is to concentrate on doing it at Bray or maybe to park up a couple of 2-car sets at Malahide off-peak. Anything else is likely to lead to en-route delays.
ACustomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-09-2013, 11:29   #3
Thomas J Stamp
Chairman/Publicity
 
Thomas J Stamp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: The Home of Hurling
Posts: 2,708
Default

on drivetime last night they said they wouldnt, but thats not going to happen. it'll trundle up and down the rails all day.

barry couldnt really refute the basic point that this a disaster for the PR and Marketing dept of I.E. (headed by a Mr B. Kenny) in that they really should be aiming to fill the trains they have rather than admit defeat and cut services.

Despite all of the half hearted efforts they have employed they are in the end cutting capacity no matter how you spin it, nor what ground you are doing your spinning upon.

once you go down this road there isnt any going back either.
__________________
We are the passengers
Thomas J Stamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-09-2013, 14:46   #4
berneyarms
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 595
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas J Stamp View Post
on drivetime last night they said they wouldnt, but thats not going to happen. it'll trundle up and down the rails all day.

barry couldnt really refute the basic point that this a disaster for the PR and Marketing dept of I.E. (headed by a Mr B. Kenny) in that they really should be aiming to fill the trains they have rather than admit defeat and cut services.

Despite all of the half hearted efforts they have employed they are in the end cutting capacity no matter how you spin it, nor what ground you are doing your spinning upon.

once you go down this road there isnt any going back either.
To be fair, the two other main transport providers in Dublin (Dublin Bus and LUAS) have cut back capacity as well. Both cut back frequency.

The reality is that the demand has fallen - IE probably should have done this sooner, but I imagine the challenge was getting a set of links together that would deliver this.

From what I gather the sets are being swapped at both Connolly and Bray, rather than being split, so if the demand is higher, it ought to be reasonably possible to retain the longer sets in service if required.
berneyarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-09-2013, 16:28   #5
Inniskeen
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 951
Default

This is the right move for a lot of reasons notably economy, security and reduction in vandalism. Near empty eight car trains rattling around on late evening services has been a scandal for years affording no benefit to anybody other than those engaging in anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

A two-car DART is probably adequate for most off-peak services although there will inevitably be some overcrowding caused by relatively minor variations in traffic. Having said that, it is an urban transport system and a proportion of standing passengers in and approaching the city centre shouldn't be that big a deal.

While commercial reality and common sense support the reduction in set sizes at this time, it is disturbing that the DART service is no longer attacting the patronage to justify 4-car sets at off-peak periods. Four car sets were introduced off peak in the late 1980s due to demand.

If I were the DART operator I would also be trying to identify why the service has lost it sheen. Is it price, reliability, journey time, accessibility, security, the condition of stations, improved road infrastructure, better bus services ?

Per AECOM and the CSO, DART patronage (in 2011) appears to have been around 16 million journeys per annum, similar to usage way back in in 1987 (prior to fleet expansion and the Malahide and Greystones extensions). In 2011 Drogheda, Maynooth and Kildare suburban services accounted for a further 12 million journeys split roughly 6, 4 and 2 million respectively.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 10-09-2013 at 16:33.
Inniskeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 06:44   #6
James Howard
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
James Howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sligo Line
Posts: 1,112
Default

I was just saying that last night - it is highly odd that the main urban rail service in a city the size of Dublin can only sustain 2-car service every 15 minutes off-peak. Personally, I think it is down to lack of frequency. The frequency of the bus service on nearby corridors is far higher than that of the DART. It also doesn't help that the city centre DART stations are not exactly in convenient locations.

But basic demand would also have made a huge difference. In the 80's there was no Sandyford, Dundrum, Liffey Valley, etc., taking traffic out of the city centre. In addition, a huge proportion of the younger people who would be using public transport to go out at night are now living in the city centre. Even if they were going out, the days of the pubs closing at roughly the same time as the last bus/DART are long past so people wouldn't be bothered with taking the DART in if they can't get it home. This is a common feature of Irish public-sector transport with the partial exception of Bus Éireann - everyone seems to want to get to bed early.

Finally, there used to be feeder buses for the DART which are long gone.
James Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 09:32   #7
Thomas J Stamp
Chairman/Publicity
 
Thomas J Stamp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: The Home of Hurling
Posts: 2,708
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inniskeen View Post
This is the right move for a lot of reasons notably economy, security and reduction in vandalism. Near empty eight car trains rattling around on late evening services has been a scandal for years affording no benefit to anybody other than those engaging in anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

A two-car DART is probably adequate for most off-peak services although there will inevitably be some overcrowding caused by relatively minor variations in traffic. Having said that, it is an urban transport system and a proportion of standing passengers in and approaching the city centre shouldn't be that big a deal.

While commercial reality and common sense support the reduction in set sizes at this time, it is disturbing that the DART service is no longer attacting the patronage to justify 4-car sets at off-peak periods. Four car sets were introduced off peak in the late 1980s due to demand.

If I were the DART operator I would also be trying to identify why the service has lost it sheen. Is it price, reliability, journey time, accessibility, security, the condition of stations, improved road infrastructure, better bus services ?

Per AECOM and the CSO, DART patronage (in 2011) appears to have been around 16 million journeys per annum, similar to usage way back in in 1987 (prior to fleet expansion and the Malahide and Greystones extensions). In 2011 Drogheda, Maynooth and Kildare suburban services accounted for a further 12 million journeys split roughly 6, 4 and 2 million respectively.

this is the point, and it is not just applicable to the DART - although it is understandable that it is getting most of the attention. It is accepted that having an 8 car whizzing about in the evening is silly, surely a 4-car is better than a 2 car though. After all, where can you go after a 2-car? No car.

The same applies to the time period between 10am and 5pm - surely a 4-car is better in this period than a 2-car.

I still remember a russian lad i knew in my student days gazing at the DART timetable and being astounded at what we thought was a great frequency of service but he was saying was unacceptable. That was the mid 90's, and the gaps are wider now.

It goes back to basics. An awfull lot of people stand in exposed places for long periods of time (and time is as such a mental concept) for a DART to find the train isnt as big as it was. Its off putting. Like I said to Barry Kenny, it only takes that one straw to break the camels back and you'll have regular users just giving up on it.

No matter the economic situation, and we know enough about its realities at this stage, the simple matter is that it is possible to attract enough passengers to use at the very least 4-car DARTS off peak in enough numbers to make it a viable service.

You have two options. Attract more passengers and if you fail to do that, you cut the service. Irish Rail have failed to attract more passengers so they have cut the service. You can dress it up whatever way you like, but thats the bottom line.
__________________
We are the passengers
Thomas J Stamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 11:55   #8
Mark Gleeson
Technical Officer
 
Mark Gleeson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Coach C, Seat 33
Posts: 12,638
Default

Complaints already in

1. Significant increase in crowding in peak conditions
2. Use of 2 coach trains on the very edge of the peak
3. Forcing passengers to change between long and short trains at Connolly and Bray
Mark Gleeson is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 13:29   #9
dowlingm
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
dowlingm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,356
Default

The Toronto subway and regional rail systems run full consists all day. But they have bus feed.
dowlingm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 14:34   #10
Thomas J Stamp
Chairman/Publicity
 
Thomas J Stamp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: The Home of Hurling
Posts: 2,708
Default

DART hasnt had a proper bus feed in yonks, and damning as it is that the two branches of the state transport company in the city cannot do that simple thing right, it is beside the point.

the point is that a regular modern commuter/mass transit rail service with no competition off peak on its north side (try waiting for a 31/32 in the winter) is so bereft of passengers that the operator is cutting capacity by 50%

the fact that some people think this is a good thing is a ringing endorsement for the PR department. Pity they cant get passengers though.
__________________
We are the passengers
Thomas J Stamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 15:12   #11
ACustomer
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 735
Default

In an earlier post I said that Bray was the only really good location to shorten or lengthen trains. But they seem to be doing this by using Bray as a changing point if you are traveling to/from Greystones: why not use the 50% of trains which terminate at Bray. thus avoiding breaks of journey?

As for changing trains at Connolly this is totally unacceptable, symptomatic of a railway which is run for the convenience of those who operate it rather than the customers.
ACustomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 15:12   #12
shweeney
Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 180
Default

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showp...8&postcount=55

4 car sets running at peak times...

also the commuter/intercity trains are still not using the stop boards - had to sprint the length of Pearce to catch a 3-car Wexford train.
shweeney is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 15:17   #13
Mark Gleeson
Technical Officer
 
Mark Gleeson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Coach C, Seat 33
Posts: 12,638
Default

Infighting with Dublin Bus killed the DART's long term growth potential, there was meant to be a dense set of feeder routes, even through ticketing but either it didn't happen or has been cut back since.

Only the 114 and 102 remain really.
Mark Gleeson is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 18:31   #14
dowlingm
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
dowlingm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,356
Default

Is there anything to be said for closing one or two inner stations like Killester to shorten times from outer stops? Or is that just a case of
dowlingm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 20:23   #15
Inniskeen
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 951
Default

Not sure feeder buses are necessarily the answer to falling DART numbers. The original feeder bus operation was a waste of time and a drain on railway resources with minimal usage and continuous complaints about buses pulling away just as passengers were approaching off supposedly connecting DART services.
Inniskeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-09-2013, 21:24   #16
dowlingm
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
dowlingm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,356
Default

Feeder buses as implemented in Dublin previously shouldn't preclude another go, perhaps operated by one of the private operators NTA wants to give 10pc of routes to. The trick is to, as you say, sync them to the trains with enough flex to allow for reasonable connections and not a standalone timetable.

I would actually be more concentrating on feeding the outer ends of the system to maximize passenger-km transferred to rail, especially given a stated intent to extend DART to Balbriggan.
dowlingm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-09-2013, 00:02   #17
Inniskeen
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 951
Default

Feeding the outer end of the system sounds good in theory (and works in other cities). Problem in Dublin is that DART is neither fast (average speed about 20 mph) or particularly frequent. There is greater growth potential in the longer distance commuter services but while these need to be faster they don't necessarily require to run at the same intense frequency that is required for an inner suburban service.

Some radical thinking may be required such as building a separate Luas line to serve inner suburban locations, for example the area between Clontarf Road and Howth Junction. The LUAS might then continue to Howth along the existing railway route where trams would probably make better headway than the existing DART service as well as being more frequent. DART would then operate express Clontarf Road to Howth Junction and onwards to Dublin Airport as well as Skerries/Balbriggan or beyond. Most places get a better service either in terms of increased frequency, reduced journey times or both. An airport branch becomes a realistic option with frequent fast trains to the city centre. Journey time to the Airport or Malahide would be 15 minutes with major feeder bus or Luas operations serving the areas around Howth Junction, Clongriffin, Malahide, Donabate, Skerries and Balbriggan for instance.

Although passengers on the Howth branch would have to change from tram to train they would benefit from the greater sccrssibility and frequency Luas would afford without necessarily suffering an increased journey time.

As for the immediate future Irish Rail and the NTA should be required to publish loading criteria which should not be routinely breached, e.g a DART should not be more than 65% overloaded for 10% of it's journey or 100% overloaded for more than 5% of it's journey or some such formula. Maybe the numbers would be a little different at peak periods. Overloaded in this context means excess of passengers to seats not crush-load.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 12-09-2013 at 05:26.
Inniskeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-09-2013, 06:45   #18
longword
Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 33
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Infighting with Dublin Bus killed the DART's long term growth potential, there was meant to be a dense set of feeder routes, even through ticketing but either it didn't happen or has been cut back since.

Only the 114 and 102 remain really.
The ghost of the 90 can still be spotted the odd morning if you have the patience of a saint - they make sure to keep it off the realtime bus displays though.

On the miniature DARTs, I find they're not consistently using the stop boards at Tara and Pearse Southbound. Even when they do those boards are waaaay too far down the platform particularly with the secondary entrances closed off-peak. There's zero guidance for the customers either; a bit of surprise exercise is probably good for most of us but pity the poor customer with limited mobility.
longword is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-09-2013, 11:02   #19
berneyarms
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 595
Default

The 90, 102, 111 and 114 are all DART feeder services.
berneyarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-09-2013, 11:04   #20
berneyarms
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 595
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACustomer View Post
In an earlier post I said that Bray was the only really good location to shorten or lengthen trains. But they seem to be doing this by using Bray as a changing point if you are traveling to/from Greystones: why not use the 50% of trains which terminate at Bray. thus avoiding breaks of journey?

As for changing trains at Connolly this is totally unacceptable, symptomatic of a railway which is run for the convenience of those who operate it rather than the customers.
I would assume that all of the trains are being changed at Bray already - realistically this switch to 2-car operation cannot be done without swapping passengers over at Bray and Connolly.

As long as the switches are cross-platform, I'm not sure what the huge issue is with this.
berneyarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 22:56.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.