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Unread 26-06-2011, 20:27   #41
Jamie2k9
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Failing that, the ICR from the Rosslare line should be put to use, now that it is idle till 09.40, and between 15.45 and 18.35 (see my comments on the Rosslare line)
They may do maintence of the ICR before 9:40 departure. I prosume the Connolly ICR still have to go to Portlaoise?
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Unread 27-06-2011, 07:07   #42
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10.45 Dundalk-Connolly stops at Clongriffin and Howth Junction. There is no 11.30 from Malahide, and passengers turning up at 11.30 catch the Dundalk train at 11.44. So there shouldnít be an hour-long gap for Clongriffin passengers.

If longer distance services are to be used to serve inner suburban stations then already unattractive journey times become even less attractive. Why would passengers from Dundalk, Drogheda, Laytown etc be attracted to rail travel if the train offers no advantage in terms of cost, comfort or journey time. The combination of a suburban railcar, intercity fare structure and hopelessly uncompetitive journey times just doesn't cut it I am afraid.

This issue is even more of a problem on the southside. While the half-hourly DART service to Greystones looks great on paper, the consequences for longer distance commuters has been catastrophic as in the absence of overtaking facilities, trains travelling to stations south of Greystones must closely follow DART services. The DART to Greystones is really really slow and barely averages 20 mph from the city centre - hence services to/from stations south of Greystones are hopelessly uncompetitive with the alternatives.


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Notice that when the Enterprise leaves on the hour (as in 11.00 or 19.00), it gets in the way of the regular pattern for Malahide trains.

Even the most casual glance at the time table suggests that the 1100 and 1900 to Belfast should depart at 1105 and 1905 to avoid unecessarily encountering adverse signals as early as Clontarf Road/Killester. Yes there are departures for Sligo at 1105 and 1905 - these (and all Sligo departures) should leave at xx07 and spend less time waiting outside Maynooth station.
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Unread 27-06-2011, 07:31   #43
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Yes there are departures for Sligo at 1105 and 1905 - these (and all Sligo departures) should leave at xx07 and spend less time waiting outside Maynooth station.
That's crazy talk. Don't you realise that this might cause a reduction in journey time? We couldn't have this - journey times must always increase. In any case, my day wouldn't be complete without spending 10 minutes sitting outside of Maynooth.

The intercity journey time to Maynooth is particularly stupid. This 20 mile non-stop run run is generally given 30 minutes on the timetable. The 0545 Sligo to Connolly has 38 minutes for this section although it does stop at Drumcondra. I have seen the 1905 down-train do this section in under 20 minutes when running late.
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Unread 27-06-2011, 08:39   #44
Mark Gleeson
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Moving the departure to xx:07 does make a degree of sense and does not block any other services.

While it might be optics it does claw back minutes and every minute counts
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Unread 27-06-2011, 13:58   #45
Colm Moore
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But can't Sligo and Belfast trains depart at the same time, albeit on adjacent tracks?
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Unread 27-06-2011, 14:35   #46
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Provided the Sligo train departs off platform 4 you can depart Belfast off platforms 1-3 without a problem provided the next Southbound train is held at East Wall Rd junction
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Unread 27-06-2011, 15:21   #47
Inniskeen
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But can't Sligo and Belfast trains depart at the same time, albeit on adjacent tracks?
Yes they can, but it is very very slow due to the manner in which it is signalled. The Belfast train has to depart "wrong line". Sequential departure via the normal running line works much better.
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Unread 27-06-2011, 15:43   #48
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All routes through Connolly are fully reversible so it doesn't matter
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Unread 27-06-2011, 18:35   #49
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That's a fair point about outer-suburban trains having too many stops. There is an element of the makeshift about my proposals because we are dealing with things that can be done in the immediate future. I had treated the Enterprise times as fixed.
So I have re-examined that, and I sent the following to IR today:

The problems that arise in keeping regular intervals with the DART trains to Malahide (see my comments on the DART, sent yesterday) are caused by the Enterprise getting in the way. If the Enterprise departs from Connolly at 05, 20, 35 or 50 past the hour, there is no interference with suburban trains. Two northbound Enterprise trains donít comply with this; how about deferring them by a few minutes?
The problem arises with the 11.00 and 19.00 from Dublin. Deferring them for a few minutes would risk delaying the 12.45 and 20.45 Portadown-Bangor, but only by a couple of minutes. In the latter case, the regular-interval service has ended by this time of the evening.
Southbound, the ideal arrival is on the exact quarter-hour. The trickiest one is the 14.10 from Belfast, which is right behind the 13.45 Belfast Central-Portadown, so it canít run any earlier, and it ends up delaying a 16.00 departure from Malahide till 16.05, with the consequent loss of stops needed to make up time.
Ends.

The suggestion about the DART to Greystones being too slow is valid, but not much can be done about it at present. I certainly wouldn't recommend cutting stops from the existing trains. But presumably you sent it to IR as one of those things that they can't do now, but should bear in mind for the future.

I have also sent this postscript to IR:
A couple of points about diesel trains operating in the DART area: The 09.20 and 10.20 from Bray to Drogheda are to be cancelled between Bray and Pearse. Now, I know there are plenty of other trains around that time, but I notice that there are still five southbound diesel trains terminating at Bray in the morning. Only one of these (09.05) is to return on service in the new timetable. Whatever time the others are scheduled to return, some at least should run on service rather than empty. Itís a busy enough time of the day.
This gives an option of a faster journey time from Bray to Dublin. However, commuters from Shankill, Killiney and Dalkey will miss the stops on the 09.05 from Bray.
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Unread 27-06-2011, 23:01   #50
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All routes through Connolly are fully reversible so it doesn't matter
That may be so, but a northbound train crossing from the southbound line to the northbound line at East Wall Junction is heavily approach controlled which typically carries a time penalty of between 1Ĺ to 2 minutes. As a consequence it would be more efficient for a 1905 to Belfast to simply wait for the 1905 to Sligo to clear the outbound Belfast line rather than travel "wrong line". The better solution though, I think, is to defer all Sligo departures to xx:07 as previosly discussed.
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Unread 29-06-2011, 20:28   #51
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Originally Posted by Alan French View Post
I have also sent this postscript to IR:
A couple of points about diesel trains operating in the DART area: The 09.20 and 10.20 from Bray to Drogheda are to be cancelled between Bray and Pearse. Now, I know there are plenty of other trains around that time, but I notice that there are still five southbound diesel trains terminating at Bray in the morning. Only one of these (09.05) is to return on service in the new timetable. Whatever time the others are scheduled to return, some at least should run on service rather than empty. Itís a busy enough time of the day.
This gives an option of a faster journey time from Bray to Dublin. However, commuters from Shankill, Killiney and Dalkey will miss the stops on the 09.05 from Bray.
I couldn't agree with you more. I sent the following feedback to them a couple of weeks ago or whenever the Draft New Timetables from the Connolly side where published:

I notice that the Bray-Balbriggan Commuter service is being pulled from Shankill, Killiney and Dalkey in the Draft New Timetable. I would strongly urge you to reconsider this decision as such services cut the waiting time between DART's in half in the morning and evening peak times.

At peak times, a 15 minute wait is way too much given that there are a good few Commuters operating as far as Bray only. At present, all (bar one)of these services run non-stop between Dun Laoghaire and Bray skipping stations such as Dalkey which suffer severe over-crowding at peak times.

Furthermore, I frequently notice a lot of other Commuter services from Bray to Maynooth/Drogheda and vice versa cruising along between Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire. Some of these services have excessive padding because they are sandwiched between two DART's.

As such, would it not make sense to have stations such as Dalkey and Killiney added to the list of stops where excessive timetable padding could be consolidated for these extra stops. This would remove the need for extra DART's and make better use of the current services.

Last edited by Colm Moore : 08-09-2011 at 15:32. Reason: [COLOR="Red"][B]
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Unread 29-06-2011, 22:00   #52
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I understand some of the commuter trains will stay in Bray out of service all day for the evening peak saving a lot of trouble.

A commuter train calling all stops Bray - Pearse is at least 10 minutes slower than a DART and the fuel cost is crazy for stop/start
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Unread 30-06-2011, 20:25   #53
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While I am sure a DART is more energy efficient than a diesel, I am not so sure that the journey time differential would be as great as you suggest.

If you go back to the late 1950s, the journey time (all stops) Bray to Westland Row was 45 minutes compared to today's 39 minutes. Admittedly there are now two additional stations (Shankill and Grand Canal Dock), but then diesel performance in the 1950s hardly matches today's much more advanced machines.

Certainly on the northside, when modern diesel railcars were substituted for DARTs on a number of occasions in the mid 1990s, the actual diesel journey time was less than the advertised DART journey time, largely because the diesel driver was not forced to crawl up to restrictive signals positioned just beyond a station he was stopping at in any case.

Un-necessarily degraded DART performance with consequent journey time penalty is experienced on the southside at Booterstown, Sydney Parade, Sandymount, Lansdowne Road, Bray etc etc ...
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Unread 01-07-2011, 09:03   #54
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There is a massive performance difference. There was a Sunday morning Dun Laoghaire Drogheda train which called all stops. It routinely was 5 minutes down against published time by Pearse which was longer than a DART time

The old times were based on a railway were absolute priority was granted at all level crossings, no delays due congestion plus there was a tendency to be a bit generous with the rules and speed limits. Trains ploughing through Merrion Gates was a routine event.

We have submitted to the NTA 2030 vision that the level of priority granted to DART and Luas services be increased significantly at crossings. This would take minutes to implement and save hours literally on a daily basis. The DART is assigned level 6, the lowest level.

Each stop costs minimum 75 seconds, 150 seconds, add 2 minutes for the level crossings and further minute for the ATP. The net time would be 35 minutes vs 45 minutes

The northside is a different animal as the line speed is 70mph, DART is limited to 60mph and the gaps between stations are significantly longer than on the southside. I'd still bet money on a DART in rush hour conditions winning an all stops race. Do the numbers on running costs and the DART wins by a large margin. There was an assessment in the DART business case which compares diesel vs electric times which shows a significant time saving.
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Unread 01-07-2011, 09:53   #55
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There is a massive performance difference. There was a Sunday morning Dun Laoghaire Drogheda train which called all stops. It routinely was 5 minutes down against published time by Pearse which was longer than a DART time

The old times were based on a railway were absolute priority was granted at all level crossings, no delays due congestion plus there was a tendency to be a bit generous with the rules and speed limits. Trains ploughing through Merrion Gates was a routine event.

We have submitted to the NTA 2030 vision that the level of priority granted to DART and Luas services be increased significantly at crossings. This would take minutes to implement and save hours literally on a daily basis. The DART is assigned level 6, the lowest level.

Each stop costs minimum 75 seconds, 150 seconds, add 2 minutes for the level crossings and further minute for the ATP. The net time would be 35 minutes vs 45 minutes

The northside is a different animal as the line speed is 70mph, DART is limited to 60mph and the gaps between stations are significantly longer than on the southside. I'd still bet money on a DART in rush hour conditions winning an all stops race. Do the numbers on running costs and the DART wins by a large margin. There was an assessment in the DART business case which compares diesel vs electric times which shows a significant time saving.
No question, in theory an electric service should deliver a massive performance boost when compared with a diesel operation, especially for a service making frequent stops. DART does not generally deliver anything close to the expected bonus due primarily to the very crude nature of the control system, lazy scheduling and ridiculously extended station times. Also the nature of the ATP means that one DART closely following another unnecessarily looses significant amounts of time crawling into stations against a danger signal located beyond the end of the platform. For this reason alone, the frequecies being quoted for the city centre re-signalling (20 trains per direction per hour) is fantasy land stuff.

DART performance (due to the ATP) is de-facto inferior to diesel performance between Bray and Greystones (by several minutes), entering Bray southbound, entering either platform at Malahide (by about 1 minute), between Howth and Howth Junction (1Ĺ to 2 minutes) and through the south side level crossings.

By any measure current DART performance is poor with journey times about 25% longer now than when the service was initially introduced. Bray/Connolly, for instance, originally took 36 minutes and now takes 44 minutes -the only differnce being an additional stop at Grand Canal Dock. While the length of DART trains has increased, cameras are provided to assist drivers in operating the doors and buzzers have been provided to alert passengers to stand clear. In general DART loadings are not especially heavy and it is rare to experience delays entering and exiting the trains due to onboard congestion - hence this is not a valid factor in diminished performane.

DART never had priority at the level crossings largely because signal spacing is set up for mainline trains operating at line speed, something which nowadays almost never happens due to the way in which timetables are designed. Trains to and from Rosslare crawl throgh the level crossngs even on the rare occasions when there is not a DART immediately ahead.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 01-07-2011 at 09:56.
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Unread 01-07-2011, 22:48   #56
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Isn't the problem here that 8 darts an hour need to pass each level crossing?

I'm no technical expert on what triggers level crossing gates to drop, but they would appear to lower based on distance from a crossing, even though there could be a station to stop at beforehand. So gates can be closed for several minutes before a train arrives. If 8 trains an hour pass by (4 in each direction), I'd estimate gates could potentially be down around half an hour out of every hour.

A system where the the dart driver can request the gates to be lowered between the station they're at and the next dart station would seem to me to give the advantages of:
  • reducing the time the gates are down, leaving traffic more time to cross
  • natural priority when they are ready to go.

Obviously, an even better alternative is to build bridges / tunnels and do away with the crossings altogether, but this may not be given a huge priority at the current time.

Last edited by Eddie : 01-07-2011 at 22:53.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 14:26   #57
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The level crossing system is fully automated, the priority setting simply adjusts the trigger point for each level crossing

So at priority 1 (highest) the gates will drop in sufficient time for a train traveling at full line speed to pass full green signals all the way. This is the default on all crossings on the intercity network

On DART the system requests the gates down in such a way that the DART can always make forward progress, but will frequently be restricted as a yellow instead of green signal will be shown. Some minor tweaks could deliver savings.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 20:50   #58
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Default Consultation period over

Consultation period over - section now gone from website. (was removed either earlier today or yesterday - most likely today).

The proposals got a decent five and a half weeks airing.

So approximately early/mid-September and October for notification and coming into effect of new timetable respectively?
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Unread 08-09-2011, 15:29   #59
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Expect posters to go up at stations in the next week

Timetable should go live last week September start October

Several of the changes requested have been made
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Unread 08-09-2011, 22:01   #60
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Expect posters to go up at stations in the next week

Timetable should go live last week September start October
I went ahead and checked the trains up to the 27th of December. I see that they have updated the 25th and 26th of December to reflect that no services operate on Christmas or Stephen's Day. Is the official new timetable live on the website?

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Several of the changes requested have been made
What requested changes have been made?
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