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Unread 20-07-2010, 21:33   #1
Fergal
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Default Journey times on the Cork Dublin route

I've heard a lot about journey time padding on this route. Currently, it takes about 2hours 50 minutes for a typical journey. What is the fastest that this journey could be done at, with 3 or 4 stops, if Irish Rail decided to run the trains to their full potential, with a minimum of recovery time?

Does Irish rail need to spend a lot of money on the line to reduce journey times?

Also, could a two-hourly stopping pattern with 3 stops help?

Something like
Odd hours: stop Portlaoise, Thurles, Mallow (for Kerry).
Even hours: stop Ballybrophy (for Limerick), either Templemore or Charleville, and Limerick Junction (for Limerick).

All stops closer than Portlaoise served by commuter trains.

Really, a journey time of under 2hours 15minutes is needed - is there any possibility of getting this in the next 5 years.
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Unread 20-07-2010, 23:27   #2
neoncircles
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If many of the Limerick direct services were brought back they could make the stops instead- and the Cork trains could run express, perhaps calling at Mallow and Lmk Jctn only (For Cork-Limk pax). There are far too many calling stations for the Cork trains.
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Unread 21-07-2010, 07:38   #3
comcor
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Given the usage of the stations, you'd probably stop every train at Mallow and Limerick Junction and then alternate the other stop between Thurles and Port Laoise. It may be desirable to stop one or two trains to connect with Mayo trains at Portarlington.

Other stops could be better served by Thurles-Cork and Thurles-Dublin stopping services or even a Cork-Dublin stopping service, which gets overtaken by the express train at some point and which allows connections to the express train at Thurles. Such services could increase the number of stops at places like Charleville, Templemore etc. and could facilitate services to stations that are planned to reopen (e.g. Blarney) or are long closed (e.g. Buttevant, Dundrum).

It's the way rail services work elsewhere.

Without the padding and with three stops, I see no reason why 2h 25m or 2h 30m shouldn't be possible. If you want to see the effect of padding, have a look at the following timetables between Cork and Mallow.

Somehow, Dublin-Cork InterCities take 6-13 minutes longer than commuter railcars; they mysteriously take between 31 and 38 minutes to do the same route with the same rolling stock and no stops with no obvious reason why one train is faster than another. Most tellingly of all, while it takes between 31 and 38 minutes to go downhill from Cork to Mallow, it takes 21 or 22 minutes to do the uphill journey in the opposite direction.



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Unread 21-07-2010, 22:43   #4
Colm Moore
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Originally Posted by comcor View Post
Most tellingly of all, while it takes between 31 and 38 minutes to go downhill from Cork to Mallow, it takes 21 or 22 minutes to do the uphill journey in the opposite direction.
Mallow (about 70m ASL, MP 144.5) is higher than Cork (5-10m ASL, MP 165.5). the high point is at about 140m ASL at MP 151-152. The slopes are about the same.

The fastest scheduled services was back in the early 1990s doing it in 2h20 - the last train on a Sunday evening. Eash stop will add about 3 minutes, between slowing down, stopping and accelerating again.
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Unread 22-07-2010, 08:35   #5
Mark Gleeson
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The extra time is the cheat to ensure the punctuality numbers look good

In reality Dublin bound trains should be afforded about 2 minutes more to Mallow but 6 minutes less towards Cork
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Unread 02-09-2010, 21:44   #6
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I was on the 7.30am this morning and I was given a survey by the business development manager. The purpose given was ' we (irishrail) are currently looking at alterations to our timetable to reduce journey time and provide an earlier arrival time in Dublin.' It was short and give examples of different times of arrival in Dublin for the 7.30 to pick, what return train would suit etc. I laughed when I saw something like 9am or earlier! I spoke to the manager and he hinted that major changes could be coming. About time I think!

Also ride quality was ok going up but coming back carraiges were bouncing all over the place and lurching a lot. Thank Goodness I dont use the train much for work!
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Unread 03-09-2010, 05:54   #7
Mark Gleeson
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2:35 is the best time that can be delivered without a serious shakeup.

They tried to get a 2:30 timing in this years timetable and it failed miserably
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Unread 03-09-2010, 06:50   #8
corktina
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how can it be downhill to Mallow? It is in Holland or something!

Railcars accelerate quicker and can brake quicker so over a short disatnce i would expect them to be quicker anyway. In any event thats the public timetable rather than the working timetable which is different to allow for many factors, such as trying to get Cork people to be on the platform ready to board at the right time, instead of just parking the car!
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Unread 03-09-2010, 07:40   #9
Mark Gleeson
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MK4 is cleared to 90mph for a considerable portion of the Mallow Cork section, railcars are stuck at 70mph. Mk4 brakes are comparable to a railcar set as well, much better than the Mk3

There is a clear inconsistency in the times allocated for that part of the journey

You can't go below 2:35 without altering the hourly pattern which will only work if the time is 2:20 or better which is unlikely for the next 5 years or so
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Unread 03-09-2010, 08:25   #10
seamus kilcock
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I switched to road transport recently for my trip from Kilcock to Carrigtwohill, Cork.
I joined Motorway at Naas and 1hr 55mins later reached Dunkettle roundabout. Max speed - using the cruise control - 120km.
Door to door time 2hrs 25mins.

Using train would have taken from 4hrs to 4hrs 30mins allowing 1 hour from my Kilcock home to Kildare station, parking car etc.

There is little doubt but the improved road network will result in fewer people using the train. Train journeys in Ireland are simply too slow.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 13:34   #11
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There would appear to be little consistency in Journey times: for example the 1200 Dublin-Cork has 3 stops and takes 2h.50m. The 1100 has 8 stops and is scheduled to take 2h.55m.

Either the 1200 is reidiculously padded or the 1100 timing is hopelessly optimistic. In the Up direction there are other examples of afternoon trains which have had several stops added since the withdrawal of direct Limerick services, but have had very little extra running time added.

The 2h35m constraint is presumably because of potential clashes at Limerick Junction if Down trains get there earlier. Recent reductions in platform capacity at the Junction have made this practically impossible to remediate, unless a Down train is scheduled not to stop there, or unless a separate Down side platform is built (at huge expense).
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Unread 03-09-2010, 13:42   #12
Mark Gleeson
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It relates more to platform space at Cork as a sub 2:30 time would have both through platforms in Cork blocked.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 14:27   #13
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Mark: I'm surprised you think the main problem is at Cork station. There seems to be a policy of using only the Down main (old "arrivals") platfrom, in which case for example the 1500 Down cannot arrive until the 1730 Up has departed. But there are two main through platforms in Cork: using the Up (old "departures") platform is not impossible. No clash with arriving trains.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 10:17   #14
corktina
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this policy should be of no surprise since it eliminates shunting moves, something essential for a smooth running regular interval service. Its one of the reasons for switching to fixed formation trains drivable from either end.

What really should cause surprise is why after all this time, a second main platfrom at Limerick Junction hasnt been built. i don't see it as being THAT major an expense.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 10:19   #15
corktina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seamus kilcock View Post
I switched to road transport recently for my trip from Kilcock to Carrigtwohill, Cork.
I joined Motorway at Naas and 1hr 55mins later reached Dunkettle roundabout. Max speed - using the cruise control - 120km.
Door to door time 2hrs 25mins.

Using train would have taken from 4hrs to 4hrs 30mins allowing 1 hour from my Kilcock home to Kildare station, parking car etc.

There is little doubt but the improved road network will result in fewer people using the train. Train journeys in Ireland are simply too slow.
its also way cheaper by car too...has Inter City had its day?
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Unread 04-09-2010, 15:05   #16
James Howard
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I would concur that you can definitely beat journey times in the car. I can manage door-to-door from Ardagh, Co. Longford to work on Sir John Rogersons quay in about 90 minutes outside of rush hour - the recession helps a lot here. But of course, I currently travel at rush hour so that isn't much use. The fastest I can do it on the train including travel time at either end is almost exactly 2 hours. So car beats train for raw time (but not for useful time as I can spend the 90 minutes on the train usefully engaged).

I do agree that running times are going to become a serious competitive issue for Irish Rail over the next few years given that the average speed possible on the roads has gone from about 45 MPH to 60 - 65 MPH. The morning commuter trains from Longford manage about 35 MPH average and the intercity trains manage a whopping 45 MPH. I read a couple of years ago that the running times are about 1 minute slower than the express trains from 1906. They were a lot worse in the early 90's but the fact remains that the Sligo line has had new track, signals, rolling stock and about half of the level crossings automated over the last 10 years. There has been an improvement with the 6:58 from Longford being replaced by an express but the the 6:15 is now 4 or 5 minutes slower to Pearse than it was five years ago. Similarly, the 18:05 to Longford takes 5 or 6 minutes longer than the old 18:10 intercity service that it replaced.

But cost is a different matter entirely. With an old petrol car, you are looking at about 30 euro in fuel, 6 euro in tolls, about 25 euro a day to park in town plus 15 quid in maintenance. Which give you a total of 76 euro or 51 if you have "free" parking. A modern diesel car will save you a tenner in fuel and a fiver in maintenace but add about 20 euro in depreciation.

By comparison the train will cost 2 euro for parking, 2 for fuel to the station and somewhere around (I am not actually sure what the fare is as I have a pass) 30 euro on a day return. (or about 7 after tax on an annual pass).

So the train cost is either 11 euro for a commuter or 34 for a walk-up passenger. If you have more than three people travelling then the car makes more sense cost-wise for a walk-up but not for a commuter.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 15:39   #17
corktina
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adding in maintenance and depreciation is only really relevant if you buy a car just for commuting. Assuming you are going to have a car anyway, it makes sense to make use of it,especially as most cars are never fully depreciated, most are scrapped with plenty of useful miles left in them (if they were looked after properly in the first place)
also, in the case of someone needing to use the car to get to the railhead (12 miles in my case) mainteance and depreciation would have to added to the train fare. Add to this onward travel from the destination to the workplace.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 16:47   #18
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corktina: You can't ignore maintenence and depreciation costs when assessing car versus train. Measuring the "cost" as just the fuel cost (as did the Sunday Times last week) is just wrong. Car servicing and tyre wear are pretty directly related to mileage, and don't tell me that when you come to trade in your car that the price you get will be the same isrrespective of whether it has 30,000 or 60,000 on the clock.

Also in an earlier post you mentioned shunting moves. Moving a train from one platform to another at Cork should be a simple and inexpensive matter, especially as no running-round would be required, and hence no shunter to uncouple and re-couple the locomotive.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 18:08   #19
corktina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACustomer View Post
corktina: You can't ignore maintenence and depreciation costs when assessing car versus train. Measuring the "cost" as just the fuel cost (as did the Sunday Times last week) is just wrong. Car servicing and tyre wear are pretty directly related to mileage, and don't tell me that when you come to trade in your car that the price you get will be the same isrrespective of whether it has 30,000 or 60,000 on the clock.

.
and yet the poster im quoting is doing exactly this by not including these items in calculations where he is driving to the station.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 20:37   #20
Colm Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACustomer View Post
Mark: I'm surprised you think the main problem is at Cork station. There seems to be a policy of using only the Down main (old "arrivals") platfrom, in which case for example the 1500 Down cannot arrive until the 1730 Up has departed. But there are two main through platforms in Cork: using the Up (old "departures") platform is not impossible. No clash with arriving trains.
Is there an issue with the 22000s on the curved platform?
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