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Unread 20-02-2014, 11:55   #1
joey
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Default Line closure - flooding at carrick on Shannon

How long is it likely this will be closed and bus transfers being used?

It was closed for flooding a few years ago does anyone remember how long it was closed for then?
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Unread 20-02-2014, 13:20   #2
James Howard
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The last time it happened, the closure was for nearly two weeks. Given that it has been relatively dry this week and the outlook for next few days is not too bad, I would be surprised if it drags on as long.

It was handled much better the last time with advanced departures for trains on the Sligo side of the closure so there wasn't much impact on Longford commuters. This ongoing cancellation of the 16:00 isn't really on either. The 17:05 is going to be nuts tomorrow.
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Unread 20-02-2014, 13:23   #3
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Exactly what I was thinking too.
The 1705 ex Connolly is generally overcrowded as it is on a Friday and given the fact that the 1900 ex Connolly is normally a four car set I wonder would they up this to a seven car set? Should've no problem if they are taking the 1600 out if service.
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Unread 20-02-2014, 15:43   #4
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Just before carrick it must be, as I saw the water lapping up against the hardcore/ballast of track there very recently, a little surprised it wasn't closed earlier.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 16:39   #5
James Howard
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The failure of the 1300 now means that they have 60 minute delays due to transfers from Longford to Sligo.

Can this ongoing cancellation of the 1600 Connolly to Sligo be considered as a breach of the agreed timetable? From my understanding, any timetable changes have to be agreed with the NTA. I presume there are get-out clauses for "circumstances beyond Irish Rail's control".

This situation is extremely difficult for commuters to manage - there has effectively not been a timetable on the Sligo line for the last week. Surely they can put some sort of temporary timetable in place - even if it say it will take 3.5 hours from Sligo to Dublin, at least the 80% of the traffic originating from Longford and points closer will know when to expect a train to appear.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 17:01   #6
Mark Gleeson
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It is unacceptable and the obvious solution is to leave Sligo earlier

Cancellation of the 16:00 is a cancellation, not a formal timetable change so provided they stay within the NTA requirements they are ok. Even then they have a get out clause.

There was an interesting legal case in Austria OBB lost out under EC1371/2007, acts of god do not really exist, so the fact it rains a lot is not abnormal...
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Unread 21-02-2014, 17:16   #7
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Quote:
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The failure of the 1300 now means that they have 60 minute delays due to transfers from Longford to Sligo.

Can this ongoing cancellation of the 1600 Connolly to Sligo be considered as a breach of the agreed timetable? From my understanding, any timetable changes have to be agreed with the NTA. I presume there are get-out clauses for "circumstances beyond Irish Rail's control".

This situation is extremely difficult for commuters to manage - there has effectively not been a timetable on the Sligo line for the last week. Surely they can put some sort of temporary timetable in place - even if it say it will take 3.5 hours from Sligo to Dublin, at least the 80% of the traffic originating from Longford and points closer will know when to expect a train to appear.
I suspect the 1600 is cancelled simply because there is not enough rolling stock available. There's not much that you can do about that.

I do think the time has come to implement an official temporary timetable to reflect what is happening on the ground, and at the very least advance the departure time of the bus for the 0545 from Sligo so that the train leaves Longford on time.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 17:19   #8
James Howard
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Surely there is a limit to the number of times the cancel a service. Otherwise they could just cancel the 16:00 every day for the next year. Given that this is the second prolonged disruption due to flooding in the same place over the last five years, they can't claim it as an "act of God".

It could be worse, I could be depending on the Limerick-Ennis line. They may as well just shut that down - a line that undependable isn't worth having.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 17:22   #9
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Surely there is a limit to the number of times the cancel a service. Otherwise they could just cancel the 16:00 every day for the next year. Given that this is the second prolonged disruption due to flooding in the same place over the last five years, they can't claim it as an "act of God".

It could be worse, I could be depending on the Limerick-Ennis line. They may as well just shut that down - a line that undependable isn't worth having.
To be fair about Limerick/Ennis, they raised the railway line by two feet since the last flooding and now it has flooded again.

That is pretty extreme.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 19:08   #10
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The water has been rising for the last three weeks. They were even slowing right down at the point where it was lapping up against the hardcore. Solutions should have been well in place earlier re. Bus transfers, timetable alterations etc.

Train spotted running between Longford and Carrick on Shannon earlier this evening, would have made it the 1500 ex Dublin.

Are we re-opened then?

Last edited by joey : 21-02-2014 at 19:12.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 19:14   #11
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Not according to the Irish Rail website. They have announced cancellation of the 1600 for Monday now. The timetable is in such a mess today that it could be any train.

Some chatter on Twitter indicating that people have been stuck on the 1300 from Sligo for 4.5 hours 10 minutes out of Sligo. Somebody should be done for unlawful imprisonment.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 19:29   #12
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I don't see the issue with the 16.00 being cancelled with a train either side of it and it's having the least impact as commuter traffic would be low. It's not as if there is a two hour gap. It has not impacted heavily on other trains apart from today I expect with students.

Being on a train for 4.5 hours while not acceptable there is simply nothing to do about it, the other 4 price set was probably in Carrick on Shannon and they couldn't run a loco to move the train. Walking passengers back to Sligo could be considered but most of the passengers are probably OAP"s and walking isn't an option.

The timetable needs to be advanced from Monday as that 4 car set won't be in service until it's hauled to Dublin as judging by the time delay they can't even start any engine on it. It's probably being two or three weeks since it's had a service. That only leaves on set to cover 14 services which isn't possible.

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Unread 21-02-2014, 20:12   #13
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It is not correct to say that nothing can be done about it. They appear to have no contingency planning at all. Was there not a single bus to be hired in Sligo? It being mid-term, the school buses are all idle. Could one or two of them not be borrowed. Failing that, 25 or 30 taxis would get everyone off the train. This is a 4.5 hour delay we are talking about.

If the 16:00 train isn't needed, why is it on the time-table at all? Its absence would have been felt today in the loadings on the 1705.

It is also pretty absurd that they have got themselves in a situation where they basically cannot keep the wheels turning if a train gets trapped away from service facilities for a week.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 20:48   #14
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Surely getting buses wasn't the issue but rather the determination to avoid evacuating passengers onto the track irrespective of the ongoing delay. I understand the train was quite close to an accommodation crossing at Carrignagat and could have been fairly easily unloaded.

While evacuating track-side mightn't be ideal it is infinitely preferable to imprisoning passengers for 4 hours !

Hard to see why the 1600 is being cancelled on an ongoing basis, probably operationally convenient but not acceptable from a customer service point of view. A truly dreadful week on the Sligo line.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 21-02-2014 at 20:57.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 21:32   #15
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If the 16:00 train isn't needed, why is it on the time-table at all? Its absence would have been felt today in the loadings on the 1705.
If the 16.00 was carrying heavy loads during the week it would be operating during this period. There has being no impact on the 17.05 service. As you have said a few times why is the 18.05 to Longford on the timetable when it takes very few past Maynooth. It carries passengers but its combining the best out of a bad situation.

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It is also pretty absurd that they have got themselves in a situation where they basically cannot keep the wheels turning if a train gets trapped away from service facilities for a week.
It's a railway, its not as if its a bus that can be changed around. There is very little light serving that can be done on a train when not at a depot, gaining access to areas required wouldn't be possible. It is possible that the sets in question were due a visit to a deport this week and couldn't so that's probably around 4 weeks without a full check and something will cause a fault.

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Hard to see why the 1600 is being cancelled on an ongoing basis, probably operationally convenient but not acceptable from a customer service point of view. A truly dreadful week on the Sligo line.
4 car rosters out of Heuston have being a mess as I am guessing 2 sets have being send to Connolly to cover and has resulted in 2 3 sets operating out of Heuston reducing set availability further.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 21-02-2014 at 21:35.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 22:06   #16
James Howard
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If the 16.00 was carrying heavy loads during the week it would be operating during this period. There has being no impact on the 17.05 service. As you have said a few times why is the 18.05 to Longford on the timetable when it takes very few past Maynooth. It carries passengers but its combining the best out of a bad situation.
I've never said that the 18:05 is lightly loaded. On the contrary it is the prime commuter service between Maynooth and Longford and I've taken it and the corresponding Intercity before it 4 days a week for 10 years. The 1715 and the old 1817 were completely pointless. The 1600 isn't a hugely useful service, but it does take a lot of student traffic on a Friday.

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It's a railway, its not as if its a bus that can be changed around. There is very little light serving that can be done on a train when not at a depot, gaining access to areas required wouldn't be possible. It is possible that the sets in question were due a visit to a deport this week and couldn't so that's probably around 4 weeks without a full check and something will cause a fault.
It's not as if anybody who travels the Sligo route regularly hasn't seen this coming. With all of the rain over the last few weeks, it was no surprise to me that this was about to happen. Surely, somebody at Irish Rail could have made the same judgement call and started making plans to put proper bus substitutions in place and perhaps try to avoid rostering sets nearing service in Sligo over the weekend. Failing that, if the set was out of hours, they shouldn't have used it - just dropped entirely to bus substitution. It's a matter of failing to manage risk that culminated in imprisoning passengers for 4 and a half hours.
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Unread 21-02-2014, 22:42   #17
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I've never said that the 18:05 is lightly loaded. On the contrary it is the prime commuter service between Maynooth and Longford and I've taken it and the corresponding Intercity before it 4 days a week for 10 years. The 1715 and the old 1817 were completely pointless. The 1600 isn't a hugely useful service, but it does take a lot of student traffic on a Friday.
I'll take you word but if I remember when it changed to a 29000 recently you said it's very lightly loaded at Maynooth. I agree about the 16.00 service today and even a 4 car 29 would of done. Anyone on the 17.05 today, I have saw no complains about severe over crowding on it so IE got lucky today possibly.

Quote:
It's not as if anybody who travels the Sligo route regularly hasn't seen this coming. With all of the rain over the last few weeks, it was no surprise to me that this was about to happen. Surely, somebody at Irish Rail could have made the same judgement call and started making plans to put proper bus substitutions in place and perhaps try to avoid rostering sets nearing service in Sligo over the weekend. Failing that, if the set was out of hours, they shouldn't have used it - just dropped entirely to bus substitution. It's a matter of failing to manage risk that culminated in imprisoning passengers for 4 and a half hours.
I wouldn't say it was out of hours but like everything if its not checked when scheduled then reliability of it will drop but by no means will anything happen. It seems like a major failure of the set which don't happen a lot. I would be interested to know is if there was any indications of a fault earlier during the day.

Sligo and Mayo are more less the two liens that are very isolated if there is problems. If it was on Cork, Galway or Waterford routes it's quiet easy to get rolling stock rotated.

I fully agree it's not acceptable and some bad decisions made. They have being some signs they have changed there way after what happened in July.

Quote:
It's not as if anybody who travels the Sligo route regularly hasn't seen this coming. With all of the rain over the last few weeks, it was no surprise to me that this was about to happen. Surely, somebody at Irish Rail could have made the same judgement call and started making plans to put proper bus substitutions in place and perhaps try to avoid rostering sets nearing service in Sligo over the weekend. Failing that, if the set was out of hours, they shouldn't have used it - just dropped entirely to bus substitution. It's a matter of failing to manage risk that culminated in imprisoning passengers for 4 and a half hours.
If IE were to make a judgment call on the Waterford route for example last week the only section on line open would be Athy-Carlow. Thankfully the last few days have helped. As the 5.45 and 7.00 got through levels must of rose very fast and if those services hadn't got through then we would have significant problems and full bus transfers for everybody. They would not be able to supply trains to cope then.

Might also be worth saying a few train sets may be out of action from hitting trees recently. This being one:
http://www.kilkennypeople.ie/news/ki...torm-1-5888465

The problem here isn't the bus transfers but not advancing the timetable.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 22-02-2014 at 00:19.
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Unread 22-02-2014, 10:17   #18
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Wait and see the 1600 will go off the timetable completely.
Those 2/3 hours at peak time each way are messy to say the least as in the shape of the timetable.

No word on what the 7 car set was going between Longford and carrick on Friday evening
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Unread 22-02-2014, 10:22   #19
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I'll take you word but if I remember when it changed to a 29000 recently you said it's very lightly loaded at Maynooth. I agree about the 16.00 service today and even a 4 car 29 would of done. Anyone on the 17.05 today, I have saw no complains about severe over crowding on it so IE got lucky today possibly.
I was in the 1705. It was busy with people standing, but not as per previous occasions. I think people got wind of what was going on with the route and taking previous experience made alternative arrangements

Last edited by Colm Moore : 24-02-2014 at 14:53. Reason: [/quote]
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Unread 22-02-2014, 11:13   #20
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I agree that what is needed is a temporary timetable. We can appreciate the impact of incidents on accidents on the running of the railway, but it costs nothing to re-organise the timetable so that passengers know when to expect a train to come.

I don't know about the 1805 right now as I haven't taken it in a couple of months as it is too uncomfortable, but I'm not the only person avoiding it now and I should think its loading past Maynooth has dropped a lot since they changed to a 29K.

If the 17:05 wasn't jammed yesterday, it must have been from people avoiding travelling. It is normally packed on a Friday and with the additional traffic from the 1600, it should have be much worse.

If any train is to go from the evening timetable, it should be the 1715. I've not taken it once in 10 years of commuting and neither has any of the regular commuters I talk to. Typical Irish Rail to have two trains leave before the normal office finishing time of 17:30.
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