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Unread 02-05-2012, 21:44   #101
Mark Gleeson
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This is actually a private service under contract to Irish Ferries. It is the only scheduled service where annual tickets are not valid

There were issues with Leap on this service at the start as, the cash takings are remitted to Irish Ferries
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Unread 02-05-2012, 22:01   #102
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A footnote in the online timetable mentions the fact it is a private hire but this fact doesn't seem to have always been so mentioned.

(http://www.dublinbus.ie/en/Your-Jour...y-Connections/
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Unread 21-06-2012, 20:02   #103
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Interestingly, I have recently completed a survey on behalf on Stena that suggests, if popular enough, they might be looking at tweaking their timetables from Rosslare to Fishguard to either:

Rosslare to Fishguard: 8.30am / 7pm; Fishguard to Rosslare: 1.45pm / midnight (with option to stay in cabin for 6 hrs)

or

Rosslare to Fishguard: 2.30am (option to stay in cabin for 6 hrs) / 4pm; Fishguard to Rosslare: 10.45am / 9pm.

I suspect they are looking at all routes; would be interesting to hear if anyone else gets the survey and has an insight into the Dublin / Dun Laoghaire options.
Has anyone heard whether there might be any changes afoot with regard to the ferry timings or did the research just confirm that the current timings are the best?
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Unread 02-08-2012, 02:13   #104
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Glad my bits were of some interest.

I'm afraid I don't know the destination of the new circa 0130 train ex Holyhead but understand it to be an Arriva Trains Wales train thereby eliminating a direct service to Euston. I suspect it may be too early to head down The Marches line to Cardiff so Birmingham may be a reasonable guess at to its destination. Another possible destination is Manchester Airport as it could also pick-up from key North Wales stops for there. The first Crewe to Euston train is currently the 0536 (arr. 0728) Virgin Trains so even a 0135 departure from Holyhead will mean around an hour's wait at Crewe. Not perfect but still it's much better than the present lack of a connection.
Traincustomer, Do you know anymore about the 01 30 train ex Holyhead?
Is it going to happen, and what is it's destination?

Last edited by Colm Moore : 02-08-2012 at 03:01. Reason: Missing [/quote]
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Unread 03-08-2012, 13:24   #105
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Afraid not. On July 18th Arriva Trains Wales released all five of the September 15th to December 9th timetable booklets (online PDF versions). I looked at book 4 (which covers North Wales and also lists ferry times to Dublin and Dún Laoghaire) and the first weekday train ex Holyhead is still at 04.25hrs.

The timetable booklets have since been recalled presumably to allow amendments and or corrections be made.

More significant changes seem to be on the cards for the December timetable change.

I think the reason a train around 01.30 ex Holyhead hasn't been reintroduced thus far is because of the cost of providing security (possible rowdiness of a minority of passengers under the influence of alcohol). A train at this time would presumably also serve Bangor city and this could coincide with the finishing time of clubs at weekends. The vast majority of ferry passengers and clubbers conduct themselves very well - it seems to be on account of the minority that don't and the attendant security cost that such a train has not and potentially may not be introduced.

The overnight Eurolines/Bus Éireann coach services through Holyhead have a zero tolerance approach to any out of order behaviour (and rightly so) but managing the train environment is somewhat more difficult.

If any early hours train ex Holyhead is introduced at a future date it would need to serve either or both Chester and Crewe to provide meaningful connectivity into the wider British network. A 01.30 ex Holyhead would reach Chester around 03.05/ Crewe around 03.30. The first Crewe-London train is not until 05.36. For the Ireland to London traveller it just means replacing a four hour wait at Holyhead with a two hour wait at Crewe – still far from ideal.

A through Holyhead to London train probably couldn’t be justified.

Best overnight option ex Ireland is Eurolines/Bus Éireann via Dublin-Holyhead or – if suitable – SailRail via Rosslare-Fishguard which does have an overnight option without prolonged waits.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 21:28   #106
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Not too long ago there used to be a 1.50am to Birmingham from Holyhead, arriving 3 hours later. This used to connect with a train to London not too long after 5am, which I caught once, arriving into London about 7.15am. That's only an hour earlier than the direct train leaving Holyhead now at around 4.20am, two and a half hours after the old 1.50am train.

Rosslare option has got more tempting recently with the introduction of €9.99 fares on all trains from Dublin.

What happens to the incoming trains into Holyhead that arrive to connect with overnight ferries? Do they go back to Chester empty or just stay in Holyhead overnight?
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Unread 03-08-2012, 23:40   #107
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Several trains are stabled at Holyhead overnight, both Arriva Trains Wales and Virgin Trains. There's a depot a short way outside the station (Valley/Bangor side) where I believe cleaning and fuelling (and possibly some servicing) takes place.

If ever the need arose the fourth platform (the platform 2 facing side of platform 3 so to speak) could be brought back into use.
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Unread 15-08-2012, 13:33   #108
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It won't be Virgin Trains for too much longer. First Group to take over from December this year. From what I have read they are going to remove the catering car in order to put in more seats, leaving only a trolley service for a long train journey.
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Unread 15-08-2012, 23:13   #109
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Have just seen Richard Branson on Newsnight commenting on First Group's bid. He seems to think that they've have substantially overpaid for the West Coast (WC) line. He went on that we may see the collapse or early withdrawal of their franchise in due course, following East Coast Trains and National Express who also have bid more than Virgin in the past for rail franchises at substantial cost to the UK taxpayer. The market also seems to agree, with First Group's share price falling today and Stagecoach's (Virgin's partner on the WC) rising. Unfortunately, he's probably right.

In the meantime, will be interesting to see what they do with the timetable.
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Unread 16-08-2012, 22:14   #110
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They have very little influence on the timetable, and First participate in Rail'n'Sail via the Great Western and ScotRail franchises.
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Unread 22-08-2012, 21:28   #111
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Quote:
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Afraid not. On July 18th Arriva Trains Wales released all five of the September 15th to December 9th timetable booklets (online PDF versions). I looked at book 4 (which covers North Wales and also lists ferry times to Dublin and Dún Laoghaire) and the first weekday train ex Holyhead is still at 04.25hrs.

The timetable booklets have since been recalled presumably to allow amendments and or corrections be made.

More significant changes seem to be on the cards for the December timetable change.

I think the reason a train around 01.30 ex Holyhead hasn't been reintroduced thus far is because of the cost of providing security (possible rowdiness of a minority of passengers under the influence of alcohol). A train at this time would presumably also serve Bangor city and this could coincide with the finishing time of clubs at weekends. The vast majority of ferry passengers and clubbers conduct themselves very well - it seems to be on account of the minority that don't and the attendant security cost that such a train has not and potentially may not be introduced.

The overnight Eurolines/Bus Éireann coach services through Holyhead have a zero tolerance approach to any out of order behaviour (and rightly so) but managing the train environment is somewhat more difficult.

If any early hours train ex Holyhead is introduced at a future date it would need to serve either or both Chester and Crewe to provide meaningful connectivity into the wider British network. A 01.30 ex Holyhead would reach Chester around 03.05/ Crewe around 03.30. The first Crewe-London train is not until 05.36. For the Ireland to London traveller it just means replacing a four hour wait at Holyhead with a two hour wait at Crewe – still far from ideal.

A through Holyhead to London train probably couldn’t be justified.

Best overnight option ex Ireland is Eurolines/Bus Éireann via Dublin-Holyhead or – if suitable – SailRail via Rosslare-Fishguard which does have an overnight option without prolonged waits.
I would like to see the 01 50 ex Holyhead re-introduced as it was very handy for linking into the WCML! I have read elsewhere that Scotrail are going to ban any passengers that are under the influence of alcohol during certain periods. It remains to be seen how they implement this, but if Scotrail can do it, then there should be no reason why it can't be enforced on the North Wales line?
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Unread 23-08-2012, 18:42   #112
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Not quite. They are banning open containers and drinking on board between 2100 and 1000, or possibly 2200 and 0900 (can't remember which).
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Unread 23-08-2012, 20:56   #113
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Its 22:00 onwards, however it appears to apply to trains within Scotland only, the night sleeper trains are exempt for instance
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Unread 24-08-2012, 17:55   #114
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Default Increased usage of Dutchflyer Rail & Sea service

Interestingly the Dutchflyer Rail & Sail service (via Stena Line’s Harwich to Hook of Holland route) saw a 7% increase in usage for the first half of this year with the period from April to June seeing 11% growth.

The strong points of this route are, inter alia, the integrated rail-sea terminals at both Harwich International and Hook of Holland. Also the North Sea crossing time is much longer than any Irish Sea passage and as such closely matches the time needed for a normal sleep (though a daytime journey option is also available).

When I travelled I bought my NS (Netherlands railway) ticket from my origin station in the Netherlands and its cost was refunded to me by Stena Line at check-in at the Hook of Holland. Got a good night’s sleep and reached Liverpool Street with sufficient time to get a bus (route 205) to Euston in time for the 09.10 (Virgin) train to Holyhead.
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Unread 24-08-2012, 23:50   #115
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Also the North Sea crossing time is much longer than any Irish Sea passage and as such closely matches the time needed for a normal sleep (though a daytime journey option is also available).
Nothing seems to have come of the possible changes to Stena's Fishguard and Holyhead overnight sailings cited earlier in the year to make them closer to a normal sleep pattern.
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Unread 25-08-2012, 12:22   #116
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I often wondered how they came up with the ferry timetables. It is a mark of supreme idiocy that both Stena Line and Irish Ferries have departures around 8AM that require you to battle Dublin rush-hour traffic and there is also a Stena ferry that dumps you in Dublin in the middle of the evening rush-hour.

These times also severely restrict the options for rail passengers connecting with the ferries as there are few options to get to Dublin in time for 8AM.
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Unread 28-08-2012, 15:41   #117
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I often wondered how they came up with the ferry timetables. It is a mark of supreme idiocy that both Stena Line and Irish Ferries have departures around 8AM that require you to battle Dublin rush-hour traffic and there is also a Stena ferry that dumps you in Dublin in the middle of the evening rush-hour.

These times also severely restrict the options for rail passengers connecting with the ferries as there are few options to get to Dublin in time for 8AM.
I suspect a large part of it is the scheduling of port staff. Change can't be introduced 'just like that'.
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Unread 28-08-2012, 16:20   #118
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It is a game of follow the leader

If Stena changed its timetable Irish Ferries would follow

The schedule currently seems to reflect the time to drive from London leaving after 6pm to reach Dublin for 7am, with the opposite in reverse
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Unread 28-08-2012, 18:04   #119
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I've always put it down to it being set up to suit the truck drivers.
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Unread 28-08-2012, 21:07   #120
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I've always put it down to it being set up to suit the truck drivers.
To be fair, isn't that their most reliable year round custom?
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