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Unread 10-09-2012, 22:37   #21
Mark Gleeson
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The ICR specification defines two intermediate coach types. B and B1, to the passenger they are the same but under the floor B1 has sanding equipment. (All A coaches have sanding gear)

A 3 car set has no B1 coaches, a 6 coach set has a B1 coach

My understanding, 4/5/6 coach requires at least one B1 coach, a 7/8/9 set would need 2 B1 coaches

A two coach in theory is possible but likely the train management system wouldn't understand that setup, but the seating capacity in that mode would be very low

Obviously its possible to make a B into a B1 given the parts, but no ability to change the fleet exists currently as there are only 15 B1 coaches and 15 6 car sets
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Unread 11-09-2012, 06:26   #22
James Howard
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So, in effect there is no flexibility at all. You can only have 15 sets greater than 3 cars and there are already 15 6-car sets. The usual brilliant forward planning there from Irish Rail.

The fixed consists are hardly flexible if you can't send a 6-car set to Rosslare and there is no way of making up a set that will fit on platforms. There is also another constraint in the some of the 6-car sets can't be used on certain services because of the lack of catering and "first class". Why exactly some services (over 3 hours long) don't deserve catering and first class is beyond me, but that is the way it is.
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Unread 11-09-2012, 08:43   #23
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AFAIK there was no problems with running the 5 coaches except that it did not have safety/regulatory approval or something like that
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Unread 11-09-2012, 09:10   #24
Mark Gleeson
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Since it still had a B1 coach in the consist

The regulatory approval is required since this setup was not formally tested, so while in theory it works fine you need to verify everything from the ground up

Unlike the UK at least you can actually mash up an ICR into any set you want if you fit sanding gear, the voyager units not every coach has a compressor so you need to have one to move, all ICR coaches are standalone unlike the earlier 26/27/28 coaches

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 11-09-2012 at 09:13.
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Unread 11-09-2012, 17:59   #25
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How did the railway manage before the modern era of regulatory approval. Imagine the fun in years gone bt if every possible train make-up had to be pre-tested. Given all the possible combinations/permutations of locomotive type and trailing equipment the country could have become prosperous from the stimulus to the economy generated by the wages of all the regulators and testers.

Probably time to loosen the regulatory strangehold in favour of a bit of common sense.
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Unread 11-09-2012, 18:12   #26
James Howard
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Whatever about Irish Rail's charmed existence since Buttevant, our sample size here it a bit too small to draw meaningful statistics from. But if you look at the experience across the water, they seem to have had a dramatic reduction in serious accidents in the era of regulatory approval.

Personally given how much time I spend commuting I am quite happy that somebody is trying to keep Irish Rail honest even if there are a few extra hoops to jump through.

As an engineer, it never fails to amaze me how seemingly unrelated changes can bring a system to its knees. I wouldn't dream of changing the configuration of a system and not test it properly before putting it in front of customers.
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Unread 11-09-2012, 20:12   #27
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It should be well within Irish Rail's competence to re-configure and test a re-formed railcar set. Yes, of course, trial it, but comparatively simple changes should not involve months (or years) of complicated and costly interaction with regulatory authorities.
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Unread 12-09-2012, 02:49   #28
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We're talking about a solution which really only applies to the Wicklow line though. Most of the other lines ex Dublin are optimised for at least 6x22 by having at least one platform of 170+m, and the branches for 90m/3x22. Is it really worth messing the fleet about to achieve this on one line, when the technology exists to add a big capacity boost to the line in the form of 6 car trains if only it would be fitted?
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Unread 12-09-2012, 06:37   #29
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The Rosslare line is just one of the drivers towards re-forming the ICR fleet. The other driver is to provide more flexible train capacity options. In particular there are many workings where a 3-car ICR is too tight on capacity while a six car set is way too generous.

In respect of regulation and safety, James correctly highlights the downward trend in railway accidents (passengers, staff and others) although this trend was well established decades before the era of the modern safety industry. Society needs to ensure that the costs, infexibilities and inefficiencies of over regulation are balanced against common sense, otherwise there is the danger that disproportionate and inappropriate regulation will greatly increase costs and render some railway operations impractical.
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Unread 12-09-2012, 12:54   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Unlike the UK at least you can actually mash up an ICR into any set you want if you fit sanding gear, the voyager units not every coach has a compressor so you need to have one to move, all ICR coaches are standalone unlike the earlier 26/27/28 coaches
But everyone here thinks class 221s are sh1te
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Unread 12-09-2012, 20:35   #31
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We're talking about a solution which really only applies to the Wicklow line though. Most of the other lines ex Dublin are optimised for at least 6x22 by having at least one platform of 170+m, and the branches for 90m/3x22. Is it really worth messing the fleet about to achieve this on one line, when the technology exists to add a big capacity boost to the line in the form of 6 car trains if only it would be fitted?
+1 on that but I do see where Inniskeen is coming from in regard to 3 car capacity being to tight and 6 car to much however I don't think changing the fleet formations is a good idea because in most cases (apart from Rosslare) a 3 car set is perfect for services and the only serous problems with loads come on Fridays, Saturdays and maybe Sundays. On a side note the 13.05 to Sligo is it lightly to be changed to a 6 car over the next few weeks with students back or has it always being a 3 car set.
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Unread 13-09-2012, 11:50   #32
Thomas J Stamp
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why is IE still using 29ks on the sligo service now that the full 22k fleet has arrived??
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Unread 13-09-2012, 12:35   #33
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It seems like at least part of the issue on the Sligo line is the lack of a 6 car set to run the 13:05 service which is too busy for a 3 car set. The only real solution for this problem is for more capacity whether it is provided by a 6-car 22k or by adding an extra service to Mullingar or Longford at 12:05 or 14:05 which would be acceptably provided with a 29k.

How big a deal is it to extend platforms - is it really that expensive? It sounds like this would be a better solution than hacking a selective door opening solution. If SDO is something that only Irish Rail required, I could easily see this being more expensive than extending platforms.
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Unread 13-09-2012, 13:47   #34
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How big a deal is it to extend platforms - is it really that expensive? It sounds like this would be a better solution than hacking a selective door opening solution. If SDO is something that only Irish Rail required, I could easily see this being more expensive than extending platforms.
i agree, or has the stations been extended to its max.
I'm surprised to hear that alot of people are still using the Rosslare line. Wexford bus have a journey time from Gorey to Dublin of 1hr10mins and now Bus Eireann are giving slashing times from Gorey to Dublin to 1hr20mins. The train time for the journey is 1hr40+mins. The morning service 05.55 takes 2hours.

The SDO would be a good thing just takes forever to actually happen.
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Unread 13-09-2012, 15:08   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Howard View Post
It seems like at least part of the issue on the Sligo line is the lack of a 6 car set to run the 13:05 service which is too busy for a 3 car set. The only real solution for this problem is for more capacity whether it is provided by a 6-car 22k or by adding an extra service to Mullingar or Longford at 12:05 or 14:05 which would be acceptably provided with a 29k.

How big a deal is it to extend platforms - is it really that expensive? It sounds like this would be a better solution than hacking a selective door opening solution. If SDO is something that only Irish Rail required, I could easily see this being more expensive than extending platforms.
i thought that 6 car sets were used on the sligo line. if that it the case then the platforms cant be an issue. it seems to be the availabiliy of enough 6 car sets, which should not be an issue either as all the 22k fleet is here and there is talk of an over supply as it is.
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Unread 13-09-2012, 17:47   #36
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The Sligo line has no problems with 6-car sets as they lengthened all the platforms when doing the re-signalling about 5 years ago.

They reliably use 6 car 22Ks for the 0545 & 0700 up-trains and for the 1705 and 1905 down-trains. Very occasionally, the 0545 is made up of 2x3 cars but it is usually a 6 car unit. They use 3-car sets for the 0705 and 0905 down trains which probably gets them back in action for the 1100 and 1300 up trains. Beyond that I don't know.

For the last couple of days, the 1700 up-train (and presumably the 1305 down-train) has been a 22k but I only say it out of the corner of my eye as we blew through Killucan so I didn't notice how many cars. I'll try to keep an eye out this evening.

The big problem on the Sligo line is the very low traffic past Longford which makes 6 cars highly uneconomic. There would be a lot of merit in the idea of using more 3 car trains and doubling up on the frequency to Longford, but there really aren't enough crossing points between Maynooth and Mullingar to support this. Still an 8-car 29k has to be even less economic than a 6-car 22k particular when it is doing the 17:00 from Sligo with about 50 passengers.
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Unread 13-09-2012, 18:01   #37
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They reliably use 6 car 22Ks for the 0545 & 0700 up-trains and for the 1705 and 1905 down-trains. Very occasionally, the 0545 is made up of 2x3 cars but it is usually a 6 car unit. They use 3-car sets for the 0705 and 0905 down trains which probably gets them back in action for the 1100 and 1300 up trains. Beyond that I don't know.

For the last couple of days, the 1700 up-train (and presumably the 1305 down-train) has been a 22k but I only say it out of the corner of my eye as we blew through Killucan so I didn't notice how many cars. I'll try to keep an eye out this evening.
The 11.05 is alos a 3 car as was todays 13.05 which had a lot of empty seats when I passed it at 12.55.

I could be wrong but the 16.00 and 15.05 down services are also 6 car sets which allows the 19.00 return and 09.00 the following mornimg be a 6 set.
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Unread 18-09-2012, 06:39   #38
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The 0905 yesterday morning was a 29k which probably means the 1300 from Sligo was as well. I think they use the same train for the 1805 to Longford which was also a 29k which was a bit of a pain for me as I had some work to finish up which is a bit difficult on the restricted tables on the 29k.
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Unread 18-09-2012, 11:02   #39
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Quote:
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The big problem on the Sligo line is the very low traffic past Longford which makes 6 cars highly uneconomic. There would be a lot of merit in the idea of using more 3 car trains and doubling up on the frequency to Longford, but there really aren't enough crossing points between Maynooth and Mullingar to support this. Still an 8-car 29k has to be even less economic than a 6-car 22k particular when it is doing the 17:00 from Sligo with about 50 passengers.
is there a potential for there to be two three cars operating to longford, one stops there, the top three go onto sligo, comes back, rejoins the other three and then its a six car from longford on the return??
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Unread 19-09-2012, 18:43   #40
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It would be an option if they had the need to do it in the middle of the day but it wouldn't be an option for the busiest trains - the 1705/1905 down and the 0545/0700 up as this would mean storing 6 cars in Longford overnight and there are currently two trains stabled in Longford overnight as is.

Edgeworthstown would be another option for trains meeting during the day as this is the crossing point for most trains and it has a suitable siding for holding a train. However, security would be a problem overnight.

There are probably all kinds of reasons why this probably wouldn't work - the most obvious being that you would need a driver in both sections of the train for the joining / splitting operation.
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