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Unread 27-12-2011, 14:41   #1
Mark Gleeson
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Default [article] Rail users' demands ignored over Christmas, says group

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Originally Posted by Irish Times
CONOR POPE

IARNRÓD ÉIREANN has defended its decision not to run any services yesterday. It said a dramatic curtailment of all rail services until January 3rd was down to economic constraints and an absence of demand.

However, a leading rail users’ lobby group said the company’s service was inadequate, insisting that the earlier start to many winter sales meant there was demand for certain services, but this was being ignored.

Irish Rail shut its intercity, Dart, and commuter services on Christmas Eve and ran no trains until this morning. It will run only a limited weekend service on commuter and Dart lines until January 3rd.

Mark Gleeson of Rail Users Ireland said rail users needed a more regular service in the post-Christmas period.

While “there may not have been a demand for an inter-city service, there were still people on the move, travelling in and out of Dublin and Cork in particular for the winter sales, and they were given no choice but to take their cars.

“Times have changed and there are more people out and about on St Stephen’s Day,” Mr Gleeson said.

“I don’t think anyone would expect the company to be running a service at 10pm on St Stephen’s Day, but there should be some services running into Cork and Dublin from commuter towns.”

He said the reduced service was an inevitable consequence of a cutback in funding to the rail network which meant that over the Christmas period, Irish Rail was failing to meet the needs of would-be passengers.

Irish Rail spokeswoman Jane Cregan said the company had been lobbied by retailers to introduce services on St Stephen’s Day but that following research carried out last year on the numbers using the State’s bus service on St Stephen’s Day, it could not justify running any trains on December 26th.

“We have to manage our costs carefully,” she said. “We have falling passenger numbers and a reduced State subvention, so we have to be prudent with the decisions we make.

“The research we have carried out shows that it just would not make economic sense for us to run more trains.”

A similar timetabling dispute has erupted in Britain, where passenger groups, rail experts and opposition politicians have condemned the British government for failing to deliver on pre-election promises to end the Christmas shut-down across the rail network there.

“It’s almost a three-day shut-down,” Philip Haigh, business editor of Rail magazine said. “Local services should be running – on Boxing Day at the very least.

“It used to happen 30 or 40 years ago, but then the whole country used to work a lot harder over the Christmas period.”
© Irish Times 2011
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...309520601.html
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Unread 27-12-2011, 14:44   #2
Mark Gleeson
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For the record at 16:45 on December 26th on O'Connell Bridge there was a group of 40 people waiting on the number 7 bus.

Bus arrived took less than half of those waiting and ran non stop to the RDS, leaving groups behind at bottom of Grafton Street and at Nassau Street.

Irish Rail failed to consider the opening of Funderland and a Leinster rugby match at the RDS in its plans.

So to claim there was no demand is a blatant lie.
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Unread 27-12-2011, 17:58   #3
2200DMU
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Agree there should be a limited service for Dublin. Even if they ran a few trains between 11am-7pm.

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“We have to manage our costs carefully,” she said. “We have falling passenger numbers and a reduced State subvention, so we have to be prudent with the decisions we make.
Would a hand full of trains make a huge difference to there costs.
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Unread 28-12-2011, 17:19   #4
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2-3 return services Cork-Mallow-Thurles-Portlaoise-Heuston could have seen that making a profit or at least breaking even, 22k or 29000 sets could have been used to cut costs.

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Irish Rail spokeswoman Jane Cregan said the company had been lobbied by retailers to introduce services on St Stephen’s Day but that following research carried out last year on the numbers using the State’s bus service on St Stephen’s Day, it could not justify running any trains on December 26th.

“We have to manage our costs carefully,” she said. “We have falling passenger numbers and a reduced State subvention, so we have to be prudent with the decisions we make.
Iarnród Éireann ran a special train on a certain line for a TD that made a operating loss. I don't think running 2-3 trains on the only profitable line you have is going to break the bank.
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Unread 28-12-2011, 20:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2200DMU View Post
Would a hand full of trains make a huge difference to there costs.
If it only a matter of running a few trains, then it could be viable. But to run even one train you need all that goes with running a railway - signalling, level crossings, stations (probably the most costly), security etc and given that the 26th is a Holiday, staff would be paid extra perhaps as much as double. So costs can be significant.

A bus can be operated by one person but a railway needs many many more.
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Unread 29-12-2011, 00:34   #6
dowlingm
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IE used the sister company's figures. That's interesting. How did they calculate Dublin-Mallow/Charleville/Limerick Junction and Thurles demand - since BE does not seem to serve Thurles at all for one thing!

I wonder how many people are like my missus who will grudgingly travel by rail but is very resistant to the bus - especially since this happened. (okay, maybe risk of decapitation isn't top of everyone's why I won't travel by bus reasons)

I'd be interested to know to what extent the system was "shut down" over the period or whether the signalling system etc. was online because it was too much hassle to restart.

One also has to ask whether people like the rugby authorities bear any responsibility when they schedule events during periods of low public transport provision.
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Unread 29-12-2011, 00:54   #7
Colm Moore
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Very few manual level crossings on Dublin-Cork/Limerick and in the commuter areas.

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Half a million dead on the roads every year and people worry about isolated murders on public transport.
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Unread 29-12-2011, 08:11   #8
Inniskeen
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Good few manned level crossings between Limerick Junction and Mallow !

Likewise Maynooth line has manned crossings at Reilly's, Ashtown and Clonsilla.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 29-12-2011 at 08:14.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 21:13   #9
ccos
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I know 6 people who would have used Cobh-Cork on the 26th
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Unread 03-01-2012, 16:06   #10
Thomas Ralph
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I'll give you two for Cork/Midleton.
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