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Unread 05-11-2009, 14:40   #1
sean
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Default Restrictions for stops?

A look at the new schedule, and an inserted stop at Maynooth on the Sligo evening train - stated as being a new option for people travelling from Connolly to Maynooth - got me thinking once again about how things are done on a proper railway.

I have previously stated on these boards my admiration for the ticketing and fares policy of the MTA Railroads (particularly the Metro North Railroad, with which I am most familiar) which is simple, transparent, intuitive, easy to use and fits the needs of both the commuters and the railroad. Indeed I could write a short book about how just this one minor component of railway operations is superior in every respect to what is offered here.

But for the purpose of this particular issue, I will explain just one detail.
Mark Gleeson asked:
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What of people traveling from Maynooth line stations onwards?

Maynooth is the commuter boundary - all Sligo trains should stop there

You can book to Sligo, you can't to Maynooth intercity travellers are not at a disadvantage
Well, here's one place where Metro North RR has the answer.

The railroad directly operates 3 main lines out of New York City. Two of them, the New Haven Line (which carries commuters between NYC and New Haven, Connecticut) and the Harlem line, which stays within New York State, pass a station in the Bronx called Fordham. A popular destination in its own right, Metro North in recent years decided to stop some New Haven/Harlem train there, above and beyond its normal Lower Harlem Line services there on the way to/from Grand Central Terminal.

However, to prevent people using the long distance trains as a "rat run" between Manhattan and Fordham, where their own local services or the Subway would be more appropriate, the stops carry restrictions, marked in the timetable as "Stops to Recieve passengers only" for trains leaving Grand Central, or "Stops to discharge passengers only" for trains going in.

On a train with a stop marked as such, a ticket between GCT and Fordham does NOT count as an acceptable fare - and this fact is announced on inbound trains on the Intercom, i.e. that if you get on here you will be charged the on-board fare for a trip from the last station.
On trains leaving Grand Central where a restricted stop is made at Fordham, this is not revealed on the station displays, i.e. the train has its first non R-restricted stop listed as its 1st stop.

This, I think, could be copied more or less detail-for-detail, on long distance services here, particularly at Maynooth, Drumcondra, Dun Laoighere, Bray and Greystones at least, and the Enterprise could use this structure to make stops in the immediate Dublin area in the future when you have more DART lines and stuff.
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Unread 05-11-2009, 15:15   #2
Thomas Ralph
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Hate to be cynical, and without any committee hat on, but I'd have to file that in the "great in theory, won't work in practice" folder. It'll be difficult enough to get people to understand the concept of a drop-off or pick-up only train, let alone police it.
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Unread 05-11-2009, 16:13   #3
al2637
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Maybe a stupid question.. but why?

Why stop people for Maynooth using intercity trains to get home in the evening?

I live in Amsterdam, you can use your local metro ticket (GVB) on intercity trains in the Amsterdam metro area... usually there is no need as metro duplicate the intercity lines in many cases, but it's a useful option to have for some journeys. (The Amsterdam transport network is seperate to the national intercity service, yet it still all works and integrates!)
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Unread 05-11-2009, 19:12   #4
sean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Ralph View Post
Hate to be cynical, and without any committee hat on, but I'd have to file that in the "great in theory, won't work in practice" folder. It'll be difficult enough to get people to understand the concept of a drop-off or pick-up only train, let alone police it.
On MTA/Metro North, the policy is properly explained on train schedules and with on-board announcements, plus the lack of restricted stops being listed on GCT departure boards.

If Irish Rail properly explained the changes and followed MTA/MNR practice, it would work, particularly if they hand out enough penalty fares to the clowns who might claim ignorance or otherwise take their chances.

But then again, this is Irish Rail we're talking about ...
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Maybe a stupid question.. but why?

Why stop people for Maynooth using intercity trains to get home in the evening?
  1. The purpose of a regional train (and lets face it that's what a lot of our services are), is to carry people between the region and the city destination. ANY stops between the served region and the main city should, as a matter of good design, be for the convenience of people going between the region and the stop. The service, by design, is not supposed to carry a lot of people going a short distance. This is presumably the reason for the R/D restrictions at Fordham.
  2. The 22000 railcars are designed to seat as many as possible, not to carry as many as possible including standees, which is the design of a Commuter railcar. Where a high volume of commuters are expected, an Intercity floorplan is not optimal.
    Needless to say, an Intercity train inappropriately doubling as a commuter rat-run would fill up to capacity and become uncomfortable for everyone involved very quickly.

    This was why the Sligo train currently skips Maynooth outbound in the evenings, has done since the days of the ~6PM train and the MK2Ds.

    It's also the reason why Enterprise trains cannot stop anywhere betweenn Drogheda and Connolly - with R/D restrictions one could stop at Howth Junction (to allow a more direct Howth-Belfast journey for example), or any place a Luas or Metro might cross the Northern Line in future.
  3. There will be plenty of trains to carry people to Maynooth at that time. Only a small number of trains between Conolly and Maynooth would be affected.
  4. Noone would be banned from doing a Connolly-Maynooth rat run, but they'd have to have a ticket to/from Mullingar.

Last edited by sean : 05-11-2009 at 19:20.
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Unread 05-11-2009, 19:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean View Post
On MTA/Metro North, the policy is properly explained on train schedules and with on-board announcements, plus the lack of restricted stops being listed on GCT departure boards.

If Irish Rail properly explained the changes and followed MTA/MNR practice, it would work, particularly if they hand out enough penalty fares to the clowns who might claim ignorance or otherwise take their chances.

But then again, this is Irish Rail we're talking about ...
You summed it up for me

They'd need a legislation change anyway to get that through.
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Unread 05-11-2009, 19:44   #6
Colm Moore
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There used to be some ghost trains in the system - trains that ran with passenger services, but weren't in the public timetable, e.g. they Friday evening Tralee train was listed as having no connection from Mallow to Cork to discourage people from South Cork from using the train. so only those with local / inside knowledge could use the train.
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Unread 08-07-2010, 17:54   #7
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However, to prevent people using the long distance trains as a "rat run" between Manhattan and Fordham, where their own local services or the Subway would be more appropriate, the stops carry restrictions, marked in the timetable as "Stops to Recieve passengers only" for trains leaving Grand Central, or "Stops to discharge passengers only" for trains going in.
Here in England there are several examples of such restrictions, particularly at major stations just outside London, such as Watford Junction, where many long distance trains which make this stop, including trains serving Holyhead for the Irish Ferries and sleeper trains to/from Scotland permit boarding only outward from London and Alighting Only on inbound journeys from London.

The idea of Dublin-Belfast trains perhaps at a future date stopping at Howth Junction would make sense if there was eventually a DART link from Howth Junction to Dublin Airport (Much more useful and cheaper to build than the much-delayed Metro line). Potentially, Intercity trains could even travel via Dublin Airport as well if such a route was built.
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Unread 19-07-2010, 13:22   #8
dowlingm
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Bus Eireann do operate some "setdown only" stops so it shouldn't be THAT hard for people to understand the concept - whether they choose to cooperate is another matter

Would probably only work on new services as people like what they're used to...

Fare differentiation between commuter and express (as on High Speed 1) would be an option but again works against current expectations.
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Unread 19-07-2010, 13:52   #9
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Bus Eireann do operate some "setdown only" stops so it shouldn't be THAT hard for people to understand the concept - whether they choose to cooperate is another matter
It's much easier to control who gets on a bus though.

Boarding passengers have to pass the driver.

The bus won't even stop if there is nobody waiting to get off.

If the train stops in the station and opens it's doors, anyone can get in.

The only possibility I can think of to prevent it is dedicated platforms, but that would seem and expensive solution to the problem.
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Unread 21-07-2010, 03:25   #10
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Could put RPU at the exits...
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Unread 21-07-2010, 10:29   #11
Mark Gleeson
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This makes no sense and adds a further level of complexity for passengers

If we had a network with 4 tracks yes you could introduce this arrangement and separate services. But this practice makes life difficult for passengers, reduces the opportunity for connections.

The only location where it is likely to become a real issue is Hazelhatch.
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