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Unread 20-04-2012, 14:04   #21
Mark Gleeson
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I'm with Colm on this one. In all seriousness actually. Bit of blue-sky thinking is needed.
Its fine until

a) Customer doesn't show up
b) Customer tries to collect elsewhere and finds they can't
c) Customer gets different train

The best long term solution is more ticket machines as they can do many things and in time could provide services such as journey planning and booking

The only technical solution would be for the customer to present a leap card to the conductor and that would sync in real time to pull down the ticket, the leap card would then open the barriers in Heuston or elsewhere, work on 747/90 bus as required and so on. Could even use the NFC tech in some phones, avoids going the paper route which is not terribly compatible with the barrier approach being adopted
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Unread 20-04-2012, 15:35   #22
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NFC-on-phone seems to be taking time to roll out. I think 2D barcodes should be explored as an interim measure with the on train ticket seller being able to capture the barcode on an app and be thus authorised to issue a ticket. I saw a facebook status from a mate who lives in London who just took a Heathrow Express and then a Delta flight with no ID except his passport and two 2D barcodes.

What makes me laugh is that this facility (online booking) can be done for Nenagh but Carrick-on-Shannon it's still "no online ticket available"
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Unread 20-04-2012, 17:25   #23
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Barcodes are no good when faced with turnstiles, Dublin Bus and Luas. Irish Rail will be replacing all its booking office and on train ticket equipment in the near future so smartcard support is likely to be in place
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Unread 21-04-2012, 08:57   #24
Colm Moore
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What of posting out tickets for stations without facilities? Even if there is a cost of printing / sending added to the ticket price added, it will tend to be cheaper than buying at the station.
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Unread 21-04-2012, 09:36   #25
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What of posting out tickets for stations without facilities? Even if there is a cost of printing / sending added to the ticket price added, it will tend to be cheaper than buying at the station.
exactly - I buy my dublin bus tickets online (at no extra charge) and they always arrive the following morning by post
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Unread 21-04-2012, 16:39   #26
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In a rational world, one of the purposes of having the entity that is CIE would be providing a shared services operation so that BE and IE tickets could be processed and posted by the same people. But Ireland ain't a rational country especially in the semi States!
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Unread 21-04-2012, 19:02   #27
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How about being able to print out online tickets, most other railways and airlines can manage that one.
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Unread 22-04-2012, 10:44   #28
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How about being able to print out online tickets, most other railways and airlines can manage that one.
As Mark G said, it will depend on equipment changes to verify the validity of the ticket.
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Unread 23-04-2012, 04:04   #29
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Wouldn't it be just easier for the people to force Alan Kelly to resign and close this line. As Dowlingm said in another post have that 22k set working Limerick-Limerick junction (possibly on to Waterford) No avoidable delays then.
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Unread 23-04-2012, 06:06   #30
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Wouldn't it be just easier for the people to force Alan Kelly to resign and close this line. As Dowlingm said in another post have that 22k set working Limerick-Limerick junction (possibly on to Waterford) No avoidable delays then.
Irish Rail's operations are littered with avoidable delays largely due to embedded conflicts in the timetable and enogh padding to cushion a falling of an elephant !

As regards the Nenagh service, Irish Rail have made a complete mess of it and I understand have made yet further changes to the the timetable.

There should have been 22ks on the Limerick/Limerick Junction services long ago. There have been sets available after the arrival of the 1525 from Heuston for years.
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Unread 23-04-2012, 09:38   #31
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How about being able to print out online tickets, most other railways and airlines can manage that one.
you cant run it through the ticket barriers.

the reality is that the €10 ticket and return will only work if you are starting from dublin, a point which i guess has been missed by local media/alan kelly inc down here.
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Unread 23-04-2012, 09:50   #32
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Wouldn't it be just easier for the people to force Alan Kelly to resign and close this line. As Dowlingm said in another post have that 22k set working Limerick-Limerick junction (possibly on to Waterford) No avoidable delays then.
there is no need to close the line, as we have long said you can run a nice little shuttle service all day long on it, we even did a timetable for it. it serves its primary function of commuters to and from limerick very well.

as the numbers show, there is pratically zero demand for a service to Dublin from the branch stations. Anyone who actually commutes will, logically, need to be in the city centre at 9am-ish.

They have been using Thurles/Templemore for years, they prabably have a yearly ticket for this year already and will not risk changing over to a service which is well known locally to be a trial one running till probably september. Then they will have to change back again.

Simply speaking, it is a very small number this far out anyway. Apart from occasional business users such as myself, you are really looking at civil/public servants whose core hours are 10am-4pm and therefore dont mind if the train gets in as late as 8.50 on occasion. We estimate that, in reality, you cant be working further beyond the IFSC/Stephens Green areas if you use this train and want to be in on time (using the Luas and 145/90 bus) and that is civil/public sector HQ. You also need to be in a reletivly high position to be able to afford the costs of a monthly/annual ticket (or for your employer to do so). That really narrows down the potential passenger numbers. Of course, had minister Kelly actually done his homework he would have known that.

Then again, maybe he did, and as I have said before, it is a characteristic of north tipperary that people will want this service, will support it very vocally, but will not use it, because it is not relevent to them in any practical way. If you are a local TD here, so long as you are seen to support whatever is vocally and ernestly wanted, you are onto a winner, just ask Michael Lowry.
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Unread 23-04-2012, 13:10   #33
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there is no need to close the line, as we have long said you can run a nice little shuttle service all day long on it, we even did a timetable for it. it serves its primary function of commuters to and from limerick very well.
I don't think that last is a fair statement since the timetable change. The move to 1705 has made the service far less attractive to your usual 9-5 commuter, and it doesn't get in early enough for the 8-4 or 8.30-4.30 commuter. Add to that the level of staffing required to operate the line (including Killonan, which I mistakenly thought was CTC as far as Birdhill), the need to position a set to Nenagh to operate the morning service and the high competition in the morning rush ex Nenagh (JJK dep 0730 arr 0830, BE dep 0745 arr 0835, IE dep 0745 arr 0840) and it gives the appearance of a moneypit.
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Unread 23-04-2012, 13:29   #34
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I don't think that last is a fair statement since the timetable change. The move to 1705 has made the service far less attractive to your usual 9-5 commuter, and it doesn't get in early enough for the 8-4 or 8.30-4.30 commuter. Add to that the level of staffing required to operate the line (including Killonan, which I mistakenly thought was CTC as far as Birdhill), the need to position a set to Nenagh to operate the morning service and the high competition in the morning rush ex Nenagh (JJK dep 0730 arr 0830, BE dep 0745 arr 0835, IE dep 0745 arr 0840) and it gives the appearance of a moneypit.
apologies, what i meant to say was our proposed timetable served the function of providing for commuters very well.

in fact the pre-alan kelly time table did just that too. The evening Alan Kelly Limerick departures only make sense when you consider that they had to provide the connections to the 1705 and 1800 ex-dublin. It just makes a mess of the thing.
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Unread 23-04-2012, 13:40   #35
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apologies, what i meant to say was our proposed timetable served the function of providing for commuters very well.
Ah, okay
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Unread 24-04-2012, 03:35   #36
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I know the numbers were much better before A.K got his hands on the timetable but they have lost these few loyal customers they had with the commuter service. It's a bit too late to restore this as many of these people have probably relocated to Limerick by now or left their jobs. Closure is just around the corner and why the hell are Iarnród Éireann just wasting more money to save it because of a gombeen photograph posing politician. They obviously know that they can not or never will be able to compete with the bus service and motorway. In times when subsidies keep getting cut every budget, they can't afford to keep this line open any more. It is a disgraceful use of tax payers money and the people in the rest of the country need to stand up and say enough. Imagine if this was the Limerick junction-Waterford line it would have closed by now. Luckily numbers on this line are a whole lot better than Nenagh and no thanks to Iarnród Éireann for that as they purposely have it as such a poor service in terms of the arrival/departure times of trains and the time the journey takes.

Waterford-Rosslare closed to obviously move subsidy's to the WRC will Limerick junc-Waterford be next to close to save Nenagh?
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Unread 24-04-2012, 06:36   #37
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Destructix, if I interpret you correctly you think Limerick Junction to Waterford merits retention while Ballybrophy to Limerick should be closed. You suggest that despite Irish Rail, usage on the Waterford line is better than on the Ballybrophy line.

While the overall situation of the Limerick Junction to Waterford line is better than the Ballybrophy line this arises, in part, from the fact that Irish Rail were dragged kicking and screaming into improving the schedules and connections on the line. Nonetheless the sparse service, the lack of through trains between Limerick and Waterford, the minimal commuter options, the lack of a weekend service, low speed, lack of marketing and low quality rolling stock all contribute to underutilisation of an asset on which significant public funds have been spent on track renewal, bridge renewal, level crossing elimination and fencing.

Most of the above factors apply to the Ballybrophy/Limerick line where again any initiatives to improve the service have been forced on Irish Rail. I have no doubt that Ballybrophy to Limerick has the potential to be a successful Intercity route as well as a source of commuter traffic to both Limerick and Dublin. Unfortunately even if there was a will to develope to the line, there isn't the money at present to reverse almost 40 years of neglect and dis-interest and to sort out the idiotic track layout at Ballybrophy and the operating overhead associated with the disproportionally large quantity of level crossings between Birdhill and Killonan.
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Unread 24-04-2012, 13:59   #38
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Inniskeen, my view would be that given the current state of the N24, Limerick Junction-Waterford needs fairly minor upgrades and operational adjustments (such as Sunday service) to not only compete with the bus alternative but to become the no-brainer choice. How much more money will be spent on Nenagh track and structures just to make up the time difference while still leaving Killonan-Nenagh with comparatively high staff costs?

If Limerick Junction-Waterford is reduced to a siding then it will still see some movements to and from Limerick Depot as 2800 home base and wagon maintenance centre. If Nenagh Branch closed the likely impact would be much smaller on non-revenue traffic, and the paucity of use during the Lisduff shutdown indicates to me that it doesn't add much from a redundancy point of view.

Measured in passenger trips I suspect a much higher return for the Limerick area of the track and tamping works would have been a refit to Limerick yard track and upgrading the track toward the Junction to *at least* 70mph all the way but preferably more. That would improve not just Limerick-Dublin and Limerick-Cork but Limerick-Waterford timings too. Instead when you punch in Limerick-Portlaoise to the journey planner not a single Ballybrophy route shows because the services via the Junction routinely overtake.

The Nenagh branch is the wounded, sick old antelope. Let the lions have it so the rest have a chance of getting away.
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Unread 24-04-2012, 21:04   #39
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What irritates me about Waterford/Rosslare, Ballybrophy/Killonan, Limerick Junction/Waterford and other lines is that large amounts of public money was expended on these routes with very minimal return in terms of useful public service. This expenditure continues with relaying north of Nenagh and the upgrading of Richhill AHB.

The dilemma in respect of Ballybrophy/Killonan is that a lot of resource has already been committed but that significantly more will be needed to make the route viable. I have no doubt it could perform on a par with other radial routes but only in the context of reasonably frequent through services to/from Dublin supplemented by appropriate local services at the Limerick end. Clearly bringing the Limerick (via Nenagh) line up to standard is not going to be achieved in the short term but there is nonetheless a case for keeping the line ticking over in some fashion until conditions permit the investment needed to restore the route to viability.

Bit puzzled as to why 2800s would need to travel from Waterford to Limerick for maintenance after the closure of the line between Waterford and Limerick Junction ???

Not sure that spending money on Limerixk yard will yield anything much in terms of service improvement given that the upgrading of Heuston was followed by a reduction in train speeds in the vicinity of the station.

Of course improvements between Limerick and Limerick Junction should take priority, particularly the restoration of the line speed to 80 mph.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 24-04-2012 at 21:13.
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Unread 24-04-2012, 21:06   #40
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the nenagh line will never completly close - ye can all quote me on that.passengers services will be decreased but never gone all together - Iarnrod Eirrean have interest in the line for freight.
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