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Unread 03-04-2007, 08:41   #1
midonogh
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Default Missing Carriages

Please see below letter of compliant lodged with IR.

"Dear Sir
Can someone provide me with an explanation as to why yesterday's (2 April) train was one carriage short and this mornings (3 April) was four carriages shorter. Also as to why no announcement was made to this effect at Skerries Station. The reduced capacity led to severe overcrowding on all carriages and passengers were unable to board at Donabate and at Malahide and Howth Junction. The lack of platform announcement at Skerries led to a dangerous scrum along a narrow platform as passengers realised at the last minute that there were 4 carriages missing"
Yours....

I lived in London for many years and travelled on the LU Northern Line so am well used to packed carriages. This morning was as bad as anything that I experienced there. What infuriated me was the lack of announcement and the suspicion that IR are reducing the number of carriages during the school holiday period to reduce costs. If teh carriages have been taken out for essential repairs I would agree that now is the best time to do it, but at least they should let us know that this is the case.

Does anyone have any insight?
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Unread 03-04-2007, 09:04   #2
Terrontress
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I was on that train this morning and the situation was exacerbated by a few other matters.

The train was about 7 minutes late by the time it left Donabate. Therefore, all the people who had arrived for the 8.00 service to Connolly tried to board the 7.51. I am sure this happened further up the line.

Furthermore, the train went to what I would call the Northbound platform at Howth Junction instead of its normal platform. As a result, many people who were waiting for the DART got onto the Commuter train.

I am surprised that the passengers are able to interact in a civil fashion when we are being treated like cattle on their way to market.

So after one of the most uncomfortable train journeys of my life, the train was 20 minutes late getting into Lansdowne.

What a joke.
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Unread 03-04-2007, 09:09   #3
Mark Gleeson
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It would be helpful to know specifically which train(s) this was

Some trains are booked to be 4, 6 or 8 coaches in length, it is physically impossible to be 1 coach short, suburban trains always come in multiples of 2

Irish Rail keep denying it but they are short suburban trains, a good 40 coaches by our estimates and as a result the current fleet is pushed well beyond what it was intended to do with resulting variations in train lengths

There is a cosy arrangement between rail operators and safety authorities, they cling to the fact that there is no standard anywhere in Europe concerning overcrowding levels and state the train is designed to carry way above the achievable load

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 03-04-2007 at 09:39.
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Unread 03-04-2007, 09:52   #4
midonogh
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Ah apologies, my mail to IE had the train in the title
It was the 07-18 from Drogheda to Pearse (it goes on to Bray I believe)
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Unread 03-04-2007, 11:01   #5
Mark Gleeson
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Thanks for that it makes investigation much easier

7:18 Drogheda Bray is rostered as a 8 coach 2600 type train, the railcar with the original DART style seats

Firstly the train set of the 7:18 (also the same as the dreaded 18:15 from Pearse) is the most unreliable train operating through Connolly, its broken down in all manner of ways in the last few weeks (http://www.platform11.org/news/news....007&no=7.html). Its likely on Monday a 6 coach set was sent out as they still haven't fixed the coach which broke last Tuesday evening, they had lifted 2 coaches from the Rosslare line to fill the gap last week

So clearly Tuesday morning something else broke. No notice on the IE site. I don't blame the maintenance guys since they pushing the fleet as hard as it will go to cover the fact Irish Rail are short coaches, its not sustainable and there are ZERO suburban coaches on order
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Unread 03-04-2007, 12:13   #6
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That train was 20 minutes late leaving connolly. Departed ahead of the 08.42 connolly to bray (from maynooth) caused knockons with darts
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Unread 03-04-2007, 14:11   #7
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I have to admit that the mechanics sound very rough to untrained ears.

When leaving a station, the engine seems to rev as if the train is searching for a gear and then all of a sudden the gear kicks in with a jolt.

Even when the train left Connolly this morning, it sat idle for three or four minutes opposite Busaras before moving forward again.

Let's face it, these trains are not fit for their purpose. There needs to be half as many seats and overhead handles for passengers to keep upright. It is bad enough being squashed against people on every side without falling into people when the train goes round severe corners.

And don't get me started about people on folding seats. When money was being wasted putting the automated announcements into Irish, they could have at least announced "We ask that customers do not use folding seating".
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Unread 03-04-2007, 14:21   #8
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Spot on, the original fleet of railcars was never designed to operate under the current conditions in Dublin. The later batch was and the difference is noticeable

We are stuck between a rock and a hard place, no authority want to accept responsibility for the safety issue, Irish Rail have made no effort to think the issue through on the most recent order of trains

The folding chair brigade need to be thrown off and have tickets confiscated, they have been told numerous times not to

I still can't understand why the roster is not changed so the older railcars run trains on the peak edge, either that or transfer them to the Spencer Dock run where standing isn't a issue yet and get the appropriate trains in the right places
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Unread 03-04-2007, 15:15   #9
CSL
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Kept treading--treading--till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through--

Sadly IE probably never read Emily.
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Unread 03-04-2007, 18:00   #10
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I was on that exact train aswell. I got it for a good while when i was in lectures so it was obvious to notice a whole train was missing from the front. We where stuck at least two or three times because the doors couldnt close due to overcrowding. I was drifting in and out of sleep but then was told by my mom sitting opisite me that we where 20 minutes or so late. Then it stoped intbetween connolly and tara. And then as i walked up from the front of the train to the stared the back 2 trains doors wouldnt open. There was people knocking frantically on the windows as an ie person on platform duty passed by.

Ive allways called those trains with the dart seats the rustbuckets and now im starting to be proved right. What i dont get is the train for rosslare is the same basic models just better seating, or newer. So why is this commuting relic still there and at peak times. Stick it on the docklands line, one of the 29000's for that line is better suited.

Also ive noticed the drogeda yard is even emptier at that time of the morning, the new trains are gone and only maybe 2 29000's and one 2600 seem'd to be left, i didnt see inside the shed but it was an almost barren yard.
Scew new service to clonsilla, drogheda is overcrowding more and more, what was bought for the upgrade has been long surpassed in less than 3 years.
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Unread 03-04-2007, 19:19   #11
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Well let me tell you my friend,

You would have been lucky to have had the extra 50 minutes of sleep this morning.

I am still in the office and I have just received news from my partner that her train this evening (1815 ex Pearse to Drogheda) was severely delayed.

The thing is with the folded seat brigade, there is nothing can be done about them unless it is addressed by a member of staff. And when a customer can barely get through the door, what chance does a staff member have to make it through the train? There aren't even ticket inspectors able to get through the trains at rush times.

I have often thought about asking someone to stand, due to the signs above the doors but one time the person on the seat proved to be heavily pregnant. So shame on the young and able bodied passengers for not giving their seats up.
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Unread 03-04-2007, 20:33   #12
Rashers
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Default 07.18 ex Drogheda

I was on that service yesterday, and yes, the overcrowding was as bad as anything I encountered in recent years. Despite it being the Easter holidays, the loadings at all stations were very heavy. It left some passengers behind at Rush and Lusk, and more at Donabate, Malahide and Howth Junction.
There were no announcements at any of the stations (I was stuck right beside the door), or on the station. People just kept cramming on.
I rang the Northern Line office to ask why there was no information:
1> The gentleman has no information on the reduction in carriages.
2> He blamed the carriage shortage on the disruption up the North over the weekend????
3> He said station staff should have been aware of this reduction, and should have made announcements. I questioned him on this, as I thought they would not know till the train pulled in. I also suggested CTC should have made announcements. He said no, it should be the station staff.
4> He said he'd note my complaint.

I was not taking the risk again today, so I got 07.16 ex Dundalk. However, this stopped north of Portmarnock, and crawled all the way to Connolly, picking up 10-15 min delay. No announcements either on the train, or at any of the stations.

At least I missed all the action tonight. Got the 17.07 ex Connolly which departed on time, and was only slightly delayed behind late running northbound DARTs.
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Unread 04-04-2007, 08:14   #13
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The same train was only six carriages long again today and was in excess of ten minutes late out of Donabate.

It is lucky that the kids are off school at the moment. The number of schoolkids who usually get on in Donabate amounts to about 30% of the passengers on the platform.

Given that it is as difficult as it is to get on these last few days, I would imagine that there would have had to have been action taken by IE if the schoolkids had been around.
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Unread 04-04-2007, 11:53   #14
midonogh
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I am a bit confused about my train this am. I arrived at Skerries at my usual time and was just in time to jump onto a two carriage train that stopped at R&L, Donabate and terminated at Connolly. Looking at the timetable the only service that this could have been was 07.03 (ex Dundalk) running at least 10mins early. I am quite sure that it was running in front of my usual 07.18 (ex Drogheda). Still I got a seat and had a comfortbale journey.
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Unread 04-04-2007, 13:14   #15
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I was on the 07.39 from Skerries this morning (07.18 from Drogheda) and the overcrowding was terrible. Again we were down some carriages and the journey was an exact repeat of the original poster's experience yesterday. Train delayed, passengers for later train trying to get on, problems with the doors and - naturally - not one announcement from the stations or the driver. Luckily it's outside term time and the schoolkids who normally get on at Donabate were not there - otherwise I dread to think of the carnage that would result.

I seem to remember this happening at Easter in other years. Do they take carriages from suburban trains and use them for inter-city trains on bank holiday weekends in anticipation of increased numbers travelling?

It'll take someone being smothered or dying of a heart attack before anything is done about the overcrowding on this line. It's not IR's fault that unrestricted development has been allowed all along the Dublin-Dundalk corridor - but in 22 years of commuting things have deteriorated to the extent that travelling is just becoming a misery.
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Unread 04-04-2007, 13:52   #16
Colm Donoghue
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How much "Under Budget" was Docklands station and how much does 4 railcars cost?

More of the govt building structures without equipping them.
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Unread 04-04-2007, 13:58   #17
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There was announcement at Donabate.

It came over a muffled speaker from a woman with a very strong Dublin accent that there would be a "reduced service".

She announced it twice. I didn't understand her the first time.
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Unread 04-04-2007, 14:04   #18
Mark Gleeson
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The coaches haven't been pinched, its true on a Friday up until 2003 that a train was borrowed to run to Tralee but that is no more. If they had been pinched someone would have reported in a weird train somewhere else, and anyway you wouldn't pinch the coaches on the Monday.

What has happened is the required number of coaches exceeds the number of serviceable coaches. The timetable was planned assuming 28 out of the 29 4 coach sets, 9 of the 10 2 coach 2800 type and 8 of 10 2600 type (the 7:18) basically 95% of the fleet is needed in service at rush hour. Elsewhere in Europe 85-90% would be the norm. Effectively there is no maintenance cover thats not a good idea but normally ok since the fleet is also the most reliable in Europe.

So we find ourselves in a strange position, where every train that is available is in service and we can assign no blame to the maintenance guys who are pushing the limit well beyond expectations. The blame lies at management level for creating this situation by adopting a marketing and image approach instead of a service focus

Solutions are
1. Downgrade the Docklands Clonsilla service from 4 to 2 coaches, would still carry the current loads with plently of space. Planning conditions may block this
2. Reinstate a further slam door train to run the morning Gorey Sligo and return. Heuston has at least 2 such trains spare during the week. Not good for image but the old train is more comfortable and just as reliable

Both release 4 coaches which would fill the maintenance gap

The key to public transport is reliability, it needs to show up on time, get there on time and be the same length everyday. Old or new passengers don't actually care once its reliable

As always seems to be way, seems we need to send a man out. So if you see a guy with a black leather folder and a camera in Rush & Lusk or Donabate tomorrow it most likely is me
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Unread 04-04-2007, 15:38   #19
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I will say hello if I see you.
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Unread 04-04-2007, 20:15   #20
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Ill stay awake for that one

I was on it again this morning and noticed 1 set of 2600's pulling out of the yard as i crossed the bridge around 0714. I went further back in the train this time to more seats. But when i woke briefly at a delay in rush & lusk a lot of people where concerned about the large quantities of smoke comming from the forward part of the carriages engine. Almost undeneath where i was and it was bellowing out onto the platform and comming in the door. It smelt awfula and didnt smell healthy for an engine, let alone the overcrowded passengers.
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