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Unread 30-11-2007, 22:47   #1
sean
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Default A damning indictment of Irish Rail's Intercity service.

Read this thread on Green Issues on Boards.ie about a week ago, I didn't know it was this bad, particularly vis-a-vis international standards.

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showt...p?t=2055188717

Thoughts?
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Unread 01-12-2007, 10:48   #2
Thomas Ralph
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Just a bad day I think and a lack of familiarity with the regular procedures.
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Unread 01-12-2007, 11:02   #3
Mark Gleeson
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That guy just has a problem

1. This place with the rubbish and fire extinguisher is behind a locked door and is the luggage van, there is then another door in the first coach vestibule then the sliding door in the first coach. The luggage area is totally off limits, thats called looking for trouble where there isn't any

2. Crossing a closed ticket barrier is an offense, if he had waited the IE head would have told him to board the first coach

3. It is fairly common to issue a supplement ticket for traveling in a higher class

4. He could have gone second class for 31 euro if he booked online

5. Having a split between ticket sales and collection machines is again normal, to be fair to IE at least they take cash at the machines, Virgin trains in the UK are obsessed with credit card sales

6. IE's online ticketing system can handle all these
Quote:
*The options available when buying a ticket on French railways (depending on train type) include:

1) One way and round trip 1st and 2nd class
Yes and first out second back is also possible
Quote:
2) Facing or your back to the direction of travel
Yes, you choose the seat
Quote:
3) Solo seats when travelling on one’s own
Can't see the point
Quote:
4) Duo seating for two people travelling together – with the choice of face to face or beside each other.
Yes, you choose the seat
Quote:
5) If you are travelling on the same train as a business contact, if s/he tells you his car and seat number, you can enter these data and the system when making your reservation, and it puts all parties sitting together – despite the fact that they have made their reservations independently.
Yes, you choose the seat, just get the seat number from your friend
Quote:
7) Window or corridor seat preferred?
Again you choose


7. Staff attitude is a fair cop but being ignorant and troublesome is asking for trouble

8. Ride issue is known

9. Power sockets work fine once you push the reset button in, of course he could have asked

10. If he had tried this in France he wouldn't have even been let on the train since its compulsory reservations on the bulk of long distance services, all TGV services

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 01-12-2007 at 11:11.
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Unread 01-12-2007, 14:50   #4
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Wow talking about wanting trouble !!, If you want to find something bad your going to find the service bad.... """seat your ass down on the seat of the train, zip your drink and enjoy the freakin journey"""

Last edited by KSW : 01-12-2007 at 16:11.
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Unread 01-12-2007, 15:41   #5
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Someone should buy that person a ticket on any flight out of here, they obviously don't want to be in this country.
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Unread 01-12-2007, 16:23   #6
Mark Gleeson
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To be fair he does make some valid points about the staff attitude and presentation.

His whole thesis about ticket sales and reservations is utter rubbish
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Unread 01-12-2007, 17:44   #7
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Agree, No staff member in any company should have this attitude. I have to be honest when saying this about 90% of IE staff have some serious problems in attitude and I think they should be dismissed from the job.....
The guy from the journey has I agree good points everything expect the Online booking there's no flaw in that its just there attitude.
I remember a time when I lost my ticket first time ever, I put it in one of the ticket machines at Connolly for the 18:35 Rosslare service and walking up to P5 I noticed I had nothing in my coat pocket and I went back to one very polite guy and he said its okay you passed the ticket check.... I knew the guy at Gorey train station and so I rang him standing at P5 to inform him of my situation he also said its fine if you need me to comfirm to the ticket inspector about your ticket just ring the station so I said thanks and that was that. UNTIL the ticket inspector came around at rathdrum when the train was standing at the platform he said ticket, I told him about the ticket situation and I offered to ring Gorey train station just as prove, He said you dont have a ticket, I said no and explained to him that the ticket officer at Connolly also said it was okay. I rang Gorey train station and the train ticket inspector said "did he ring you about his ticket" Gorey said "Yes I am aware of his situation I sold the ticket to him this afternoon"... After the train ticket inspector hung up he said You dont have a ticket please get off the train, I was shocked I mean who does this guy think he is anyway I existed the train with fury. About 10seconds later the ticket inspector let me back on the train in through the drivers cabin and I sat down. Arriving at Gorey this ticket A-hole came down to me and got my arm and gripped it and brought me to the Gorey officer who was on the platform. I said to the train ticket inspector will you let me go. The Gorey officer said yes is this the guy who I sold the ticket this afternoon then the train inspector saying "Sorry" and walked back to the train I said just sorry after everything you've done Oh No believe me you will hear more of this........ I wrote to Iarnrod Eireann and told them of this manner I was treated in and they wrote back "Dear Mr.Keith xxxx, I deeply apolgise for the manner that our staff member treated you in. I have followed up on your details regarding time/date and as of today the staff member you were treated by is dismissed from working with Iarnrod Eireann. Thank you for writing to us regarding the manner of this staff member, Again i deeply apolgise and I hope this will not affect your travelling on the Rosslare/Gorey rail service.

I havent seen this guy since so the company is much better without people like this....
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Unread 02-12-2007, 12:00   #8
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Default Luggage van

Mark,

That's actually not the normal situation on the CDE.

The luggage van is open to the rest of the train, the doors are rarely closed and you can see into it / walk into it without any problems.

Perhaps the doors *should* be closed, but it's never been the case.

I've also been on trains where the glass doors failed / we bypassed at the head of 1st class and the luggage van doors were wide open. This resulted in a stench of rubbish wafting through the unnecessarily drafty coach.

The problem is the on-board cleaners walk in and out of that area and don't keep the doors shut.

Also, it's questionable as to whether on-board cleaners should be hanging around in that area if there are indeed loose heavy objects.

I would also think it would be prudent practice to lock down / belt down heavy items in there.

You can get large items being carried in fast track service and also I've seen items of heavy railway equipment i.e. parts for trains en route to Cork in there. These large metal objects could potentially fly around if the train crashed / derailed.

If stowed in the middle of the coach, they could potentially shoot through the doors and into the first class area. Those glass doors wouldn't stop anything.

However, I would be more worried about the poor unfortunate cleaner who might be 'hanging out' in there. He/she could quite easily be pommelled by heavy objects. I think the HSA/RSA needs to take a look at how they're handling this issue.

Also, while it has improved, the train hosts need to ensure that people don't stow heavy items overhead. I've seen crazy things put on overhead racks in many trains. It's really up to staff to take those items and put them into a luggage rack, or into the luggage van if there's no space available.

I don't fully agree with the boards.ie poster, but I do think the management of the luggage van is very sloppy.
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Unread 02-12-2007, 13:12   #9
Mark Gleeson
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The doors into the luggage van are meant to be locked, I've never seen them open

They are a set of bi parting manually operated doors, its glass reinforced plastic with a metal frame, they will take a huge amount of punishment, they are not the single sheet no frame partition doors.
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Unread 02-12-2007, 19:08   #10
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I've seen them open on many an occasion and I take CityGold fairly regularly. It seems the cleaning staff just leave them open as it's a lot of hassle to close them. As they're cleaning the train they bring the bags back into that area and leave them there.
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Unread 02-12-2007, 19:41   #11
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I travelled to Cork and returned on the First Coach only ever once. Standard class has so much going for it than first anyway, I was greeted by the 1st class host and he walked me to my seat and took my bag and placed it in the rack overhead. Mind you I dont travel the service that often unlike you so I cant really complain. The Rosslare staff are very polite I have to say, They are the kind of guys who want to talk to you and all the rest... Mr.X on your other thread about your Grandmother I do agree with you, But you will not get anywhere if you dont ask for help. I often see a luggage Go-kart going to the Cork train and bringing down the luggage through the platform you could ask if you could hop on that I did three times I'm only 19 so... There's always room if your lucky that is..
There should have been IE staff at Cork and at Hueston to assistant your Grandmother on and off. The staff could have called Hueston and informed them and so on........
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Unread 02-12-2007, 23:37   #12
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Keith, fair play at writing to IE about that guy he obviously deserved it.
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Unread 03-12-2007, 11:16   #13
Thomas J Stamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean View Post
Read this thread on Green Issues on Boards.ie about a week ago, I didn't know it was this bad, particularly vis-a-vis international standards.

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showt...p?t=2055188717

Thoughts?
He decided that he wanted to open the gate and get on. We all know here why they leave the CDE gates closed till last min (as they cant be quite sure its going to work) but come on, just deciding to open a closed gate and get on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrX View Post
I've seen them open on many an occasion and I take CityGold fairly regularly. It seems the cleaning staff just leave them open as it's a lot of hassle to close them. As they're cleaning the train they bring the bags back into that area and leave them there.
Oh yeah, me too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenM View Post
Keith, fair play at writing to IE about that guy he obviously deserved it.
Yep, glad he was sacked. If you hadnt complained he'd still be in that job assaulting other members of the public.

I dont doubt but for one minuite the experiance that our friend on boards had. It was nasty, the staff seemed universally rude for no reason that was apparent from the post. It's the simple things that keep customers coming back, even if they are hot headed, fustrated and prone to giving out you are supposedly trained to deal with that. Otherwise go get a different job.
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Unread 03-12-2007, 13:10   #14
KSW
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I cant see why the gates for the platform were closed, on the timetable it says Gates will close 2mins prior to departure. But thinking here those gates were probably accidently closed by someone who slamed the gate behind them as they thought the gates are closed to early also...... But if he had stayed behind the gate and waited for a member of IE staff to come to him and told him it was okay to pass the gate.... If he did stay behind the gate and the train departed then what would be the situation?
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Unread 03-12-2007, 14:29   #15
Thomas J Stamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithStephen View Post
I cant see why the gates for the platform were closed, on the timetable it says Gates will close 2mins prior to departure. But thinking here those gates were probably accidently closed by someone who slamed the gate behind them as they thought the gates are closed to early also...... But if he had stayed behind the gate and waited for a member of IE staff to come to him and told him it was okay to pass the gate.... If he did stay behind the gate and the train departed then what would be the situation?

What they mean is that the gates are closed (hence would be opened first) 2 mins before departure. The gates are usually closed at all times in Heuston untill the train is ready for boarding. Even though the train in this case was 11.00am I've seen the gates not open till after 11, because they have to do a door test on the CDE befaore passengers get on.

The train wouldnt have gone, the ticket man closes the gate and has to stay there untill the train has left to stop people running after it.
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Unread 03-12-2007, 14:45   #16
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Default Platform 5

Queuing and boarding are now done from about half way up the side of platform 5 so you could see how someone who hasn't been to Heuston in a while might not find this new gate.

You see a lot of confused people looking at the closed original gate. The signage around there isn't that great.

(The original gate is sometimes used to board passengers who booked online.)

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Unread 03-12-2007, 15:25   #17
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from travelling down to cork on the friday in 1st class. The luggage van/DVT is always open to people. The cleaner usually bases themselves there
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Unread 03-12-2007, 22:11   #18
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I read that link.

That dude is such a waster. What does he know about anything. The Cork train is brilliant. Its only fault is the "Ride quality" Irish Rail have nailed it with this service. It is up there with the best in Europe if not the world. How dare this guy even contemplate writing such baloney. Yes, he's just a guy with a problem.

Actually I'm joking, but I doubt some posters on this thread would appreciate that.

What I just read is a typical example of what everyday, honest rail users experience and feel aggrieved about. You see, they don't waste away their lives getting "up to speed" on how railways work or in fact how IE work for that matter. The author of this piece had a problem and all of it is valid. Customers are allowed have problems. They are allowed get angry. They are allowed be "ignorant". Remember that the customer is always right. You start there and work forwards not backwards. But as is becoming very frequent on this board and very quick indeed, the reaction is one of redicule and snide "we know more" remarks. Its one big ad for "get stuffed rail users unless you know about trains". More IRN than anything I ever stood for.

Its pathetic. Reminds me of why I resigned. I wanted to fight the cause of rail users, not bury them under an insulting veil of "we know more than you do."

That guy didn't and won't contact RUI, because he may never have heard of it and if he did, one can only cringe at the reaction he'd have met with.
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Unread 03-12-2007, 23:32   #19
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Hmmm, am caught between two opinions here. Kinda agree with the guy on some points and kinda think he has some form of rage disorder or serious stress issues. Anyhows, having read the responses from posters on this board I feel that most people have missed the point. What's important is not whether he was right, wrong or mad, but that he felt that the entire system was against him. Most posters on this board are experts in rail travel in Ireland and so know the system like the back of their hand, so when somebody begins to complain about, say, ticket reservations, they can't believe what they're hearing because they find it so straightforward.

Despite the fact that most RUI members often critise Irish Rail, when somebody with foreign experience comes along and blasts the rail network here it appears that RUI members go on the defense somewhat. I suppose it's a natural reaction to comments from a know-it-all and I admit that I sometimes react the same way. I've experienced this attitude in the past myself. Mark G, your comment that "His whole thesis about ticket sales and reservations is utter rubbish" is an example. I sometimes feel that you and others are so used to the Irish Rail system that you're caught in a vicious circle where you believe that the ticketing system is improving when in fact in cannot be improved because, in my opinion, it is fundamentally flawed. I too, as you probably know by now, live in France and use the rail/metro network regularly. When I come home and end up using the train/DART, I can honestly say that the experience is almost always disastrous, and I'm barely exaggerating when I say that. Being honest, I haven't used the train back home for a while now, so maybe things have changed. I'll try it this Christmas to see if I'm being over the top.

Remember, if any one of us was faced with a 19th century railway network (as IE were in the 80's) and then given a wad of cash (Celtic Tiger) what would we do. At the very least we'd upgrade the tracks, signalling, stations, and trains. Childsplay really.
If the rest of the world was moving to online ticketing what would we do. Simple, we'd at least follow suit.
What I'm saying is that despite all the recent improvements, Irish Rail's management haven't exactly being very forward thinking. The only mircales have being perfomed by the rail engineers who updated the system.

Anyhows, please heed Derek Wheeler's remarks. At the end of the day we all have to recognise that we sometimes have "know it all" attitudes, and I'll be the first to admit that I sometimes (always??) have this attitude. The guy who posted to boards should almost be made an honoury member of RUI because his comments embodies the feelings of many rail users in Ireland, be they Irish commuters or tourists, and on a number of issues he hits the nail on the head on all that is wrong with the system.
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Unread 04-12-2007, 11:00   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas J Stamp View Post
What they mean is that the gates are closed (hence would be opened first) 2 mins before departure. The gates are usually closed at all times in Heuston untill the train is ready for boarding. Even though the train in this case was 11.00am I've seen the gates not open till after 11, because they have to do a door test on the CDE befaore passengers get on.

The train wouldnt have gone, the ticket man closes the gate and has to stay there untill the train has left to stop people running after it.
Thomas,

So the gates will close 2 minutes before departure actually means the gates will open 2 minutes before departure. This is as opposed to Connolly, where the gates will close means the gates will close.

People don't know that the gate will close means the gate will open. They also don't know that the train wouldn't have gone or that some a member of IE personnel has to stand at the gate before the train can go. I regularly use both Connolly and Heuston, but not the Cork train and I don't know these things. I don't want to know the minute inner workings of Irish Rail and I don't want to know gate and departure protocol. I just want to arrive at the station, buy my ticket and get on the train.

How can people defend this madness.

Patrick
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