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Unread 24-05-2006, 08:10   #1
Mark Gleeson
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Default [24-5-2006] Cross Border

Well look how great Irish Rail are

Quote:
Security alert Belfast by Press Office

Due to security alert bus transfers between Belfast and Newry
Look what the professionals in Belfast can manage, noting that the line is now reopened. Compare that to the pointless message IE have up

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Latest Update 24-May-2006 9:01


Enterprise - Dublin Line Reopened 24-May-2006 8:40
The security alert at Lurgan is now over. Enterprise services will soon be returing to normal service.


Enterprise - Dublin Line Closure, Security Alert 24-May-2006 7:25
Due to a security alert at Lurgan the Dublin line will be closed between Moira and Portadown.

Passengers travelling from Belfast Central to Dundalk, Drogheda and Dublin will be bussed to Newry where they will catch the Enterprise.

Passengers in Portadown will board the Enterprise as normal.

Passengers travelling from the South to the North will operate the above in reverse.

For further information please contact the Translink Call Centre on 02890 66 66 30 (seven days 7am to 8pm).

NI Railways - 0830 Lisburn to Belfast Central 24-May-2006 9:00
Due to the earlier security alert the 0830 train from Lisburn to Belfast will be delayed by approximately 16 minutes.


NI Railways - 0820 Bangor to Lisburn 24-May-2006 8:58
Due to the earlier security alert the 0820 train from Bangor to Lisburn will be cancelled.


NI Railways - 0832 Belfast Great Victoria Street to Lisburn 24-May-2006 8:51
Due to the earlier security alert the 0832 train from Belfast to Lisburn will be cancelled.


NI Railways - Portadown Line Reopened 24-May-2006 8:44
The security alert at Lurgan is now over. Train services on the Portadown line will soon be returning to normal service however in the meantime passengers are advised that some disruption may still be experienced.


NI Railways - Newry Line 24-May-2006 8:28
Due to the security alert the 0650 train from Newry to Bangor will be cancelled as far as Belfast Great Victoria Street. The train will depart Belfast Great Victoria Street with a delay of approximately 14 minutes.


NI Railways - Portadown Line 24-May-2006 8:02
Due to the security alert the following train will be cancelled on the Portadown line;
0700 Portadown to Bangor.

NI Railways - Bangor Line 24-May-2006 7:55
Due to the security alert the following trains will be cancelled on the Bangor line;
0740 Belfast Great Victoria to Bangor and 0820 Bangor to Belfast Great Victoria Street.

For further information please contact the Translink Call Centre on 02890 66 66 30.

NI Railways - Portadown Line Closure, Security Alert 24-May-2006 7:34
Due to a security alert at Lurgan the Portadown line will be closed between Moira and Portadown.

Passengers wishing to travel from Portadown or Lurgan towards Belfast will be bussed to Lisburn rail station where they will board a train - they can also catch the ordinary Ulsterbus or Goldline services to Belfast.

Passengers are advised that their NI Railway tickets are valid on schedule Ulsterbus and Goldline services.

Passengers travelling in the opposite direction will operate the above in reverse.
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Unread 24-05-2006, 13:18   #2
James Shields
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That would explain why a 2900 set showed up this morning instead of regular DD set.

Made good time too - I did a mile post test and estimate it was doing close to 80mph. I'm sure they're not supposed to be able to do that. Arrived in Connolly at the regular time.
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Unread 27-05-2006, 02:45   #3
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Yep - it booted it along in places.

For all of the Enterprise's faults, there's nothing more crushing than arriving at the station and not seeing the cheery bright light of the Enterprise approaching in the distance with its comfy seats, air con and muted atmosphere, but instead being greeted by the deafing roar of a garish green Lego box sitting at the platform, and the prospect of a head wrecking ride for the next 70 minutes, facing this:




It's not just crushing, it's devastating, it's soul destroying, it's every worst nightmare rolled into one. And it happens on average twice a year.
One daren't look down from the car park every morning for fear of it being one of The Days
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Unread 27-05-2006, 09:18   #4
James Shields
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Looks like Sean's found a friend!

Where do you get it between?

At preasent, there are four possible Enterprise replacement options:

IE 2900 set from Drogheda.
IE Mk2d set from Dublin.
NIR C3K set from Belfast.
NIR Class 80 from Belfast (thankfully we don't see those too often any more).

Of those, I'd consider the Class 80 far worse than the 2900!

In fairness, this was because of a security alert, and there was nothing NIR or IE could do, so actually having a train to transfer to was an achievement.

It's been suggested on this board that IE and NIR come to an agreement whereby the Gatwick Mk2 coaches are kept in Donegal with a loco from IE as a handy spare for the Enterprise.
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Unread 27-05-2006, 10:18   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostcarpark
It's been suggested on this board that IE and NIR come to an agreement whereby the Gatwick Mk2 coaches are kept in Donegal with a loco from IE as a handy spare for the Enterprise.
I don't think the Mk2 Gatwicks are allowed run in the south for some reason. I'm not 100% sure of this though - I'm open to correction.
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Unread 27-05-2006, 11:31   #6
Mark Gleeson
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There allowed anywhere once there is a NIR conductor on board to look after the central locking and generator

Set is currently immobile due to defective batteries

It should be noted there are no tables fitted
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Unread 27-05-2006, 13:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostcarpark
It's been suggested on this board that IE and NIR come to an agreement whereby the Gatwick Mk2 coaches are kept in Donegal with a loco from IE as a handy spare for the Enterprise.
Have you joined WoT or perhaps CWoT, James?
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Unread 27-05-2006, 15:59   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham
Yep - it booted it along in places.

For all of the Enterprise's faults, there's nothing more crushing than arriving at the station and not seeing the cheery bright light of the Enterprise approaching in the distance with its comfy seats, air con and muted atmosphere, but instead being greeted by the deafing roar of a garish green Lego box sitting at the platform, and the prospect of a head wrecking ride for the next 70 minutes, facing this:
Amen.

But you guys are lucky though, when the Enterprise sets crap out, you have (what used to be the Sligo) Mk2ds ...
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Unread 27-05-2006, 16:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philip
Have you joined WoT or perhaps CWoT, James?
Oops. Er yes, the little known town of Donegal in Co. Louth.

I don't know if that would work if there has to be an NIR conductor on board.

The real shame is that we didn't manage to buy some spare 125MPH capable intercity DMUs that were on offer last year because they were spare in the UK.
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Unread 27-05-2006, 17:10   #10
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Alas not from Dundalk Sean if it's a security alert or disturbance to services, as they're usually fairly short notice, meaning a four-car 2900 set is hauled up from Drogheda for use, while the Northerners are left to face the buses.
Only when an Enterprise loco breaks down (very rare nowadays thank goodness) that a nice Mk2 set is put on. So rare in fact that I've only had to use one in replacement of the Enterprise in five years. Had lots of fun on the NIR models mentioned though over the years, not to mention a host of other indiscribeables


But yes Sean I have read with bemusement, but also whole-hearted sympathy and agreement your rants over the years regarding the monstrous 2900s.
It's an old chestnut now whinging about how bad they are, but it can get irritating when you hear soothing 'ah they're not that bad' 'I used one the other day and had a pleasant ride' remarks about them. Try using these headache-generating, converted milk bottles Pritt-Sticked onto lawnmower engines every day of the week, day in day out, at 7.15 in the morning, or 19.00 in the evening, for an hour and a half, often standing, being frozen out of it in winter with the doors gaping open, the heating being turned off when leaving the station for the rest of the journey, the throbbing engines vibrating through your body for 90 minutes, their roar throbbing through you head, their noise eliminating the ability to listen to the radio or walkman on what are commuter trains, their operations interfering with radio signals, their noise often even hampering conversation on the trains, their horrendous acoustics permitting the noise to bounce around the cabins like crateload of ping-pong balls, the monstrous views of hunks of PVC-clad wall for the length of your journey, the unnecessary stickers tacked onto the windows reducing limited sightlines even further, the harsh florescent lighting, the lack of even carpet on the floor…
The list is endless.

They most certainly are an improvement on the 2600 and 2700, but then so is Dick Roche on Martin Cullen - I pity the poor souls who have had these yokes inflicted on them; as far as I remember in one of these, there isn’t a single airline seat that has a window view.

The notion that we are stuck with this lot for probably the next 20 years fills me utter horror. It’s the stuff of nightmares.
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Unread 28-05-2006, 00:35   #11
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I'm afraid I have to put myself in the "they're not that bad" camp. I agree they can be a bit noisy, and the ride can be a bit bouncy at times, but they do have rock-solid reliability, and there's far worse out there (not that that should be an excuse).

The real problem is that most peak time services are badly overcrowded. I can accept that standing is the norm on peak-time commuter trains. The problem is that in most cities you won't generally have to stand more than 15-20 minutes until the train starts to empty out and you get a seat. On the Northern line trains, you can easily be left standing the best part of an hour to Laytown or Drogheda. I've heard people claim they always have to stand the whole way to Dundalk, which in my experience would seem to be an exageration, but it's not that far off it, and it;s likely to get worse before it gets better. Despite the 2900's problems, if the overcrowding could be sorted out, it would be a lot more comfortable.

The 17:15 train seems to be the worst affected. I think a stop-gap measure would be to have a second train from Connolly either just before or just after it. If it left Connolly at the same time as a Maynooth train, it could use a wasted slot on the Northern line. The only problem is finding a spare set for such a service.
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Unread 28-05-2006, 02:14   #12
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Well, Graham, you have my sincerest sympathy. I can't imagine what it must be like to have to rely on those things

And if the 29ks really do make the 2600s look like the Presidential train by comparison, then something is seriously wrong. I think there might be a case to take Irish Rail to Amnesty international, the European Court of Human rights et. al. as those organisations don't seem to like torture.

Seriously though I think any future purchases of commuter trains should take into account the fact that they will be used on long distances. The current batch of railcars shouldn't be used on any journey taking longer than an hour,1/2 an hour only in the case of the 2600, to expect people to suffer them for longer (standing?) is flippin' inhumane.
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Unread 28-05-2006, 22:04   #13
Thomas J Stamp
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You lads seem to use the Enterprise Service a lot, so here's an interesting question. Can you notice the differnce in customer service between those Enterprise trains staffed form Belfast and Connolly and what would that difference be?
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Unread 29-05-2006, 09:45   #14
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Quote:
Only when an Enterprise loco breaks down (very rare nowadays thank goodness) that a nice Mk2 set is put on. So rare in fact that I've only had to use one in replacement of the Enterprise in five years.
A Mk2 set appears on the Enterprise service fairly often. Below, an IE Mk2 set at Belfast Central on 22/05/06, operating the Enterprise for the second day in a week. These sets aren't that bad. The service offered on them is better than some other substitution services.


Quote:
You lads seem to use the Enterprise Service a lot, so here's an interesting question. Can you notice the differnce in customer service between those Enterprise trains staffed form Belfast and Connolly and what would that difference be?
I use the Enterprise at least four-five times a week, out and return. More often than not, the automated announcements are not working, so the most noticable difference is the twang of their public announcements (when they bother doing them). Announcements by IE staff are considerably more abrupt, though, offering minimal information. Belfast staff usually welcome passengers onto the train and after giving journey information, wish them a safe and pleasant journey. I have heard Dublin staff do this too, but one Belfast manager in particular does this every time. Others do not bother.

The staff from both Dublin and Belfast are generally quite friendly and professional when approached and when generally carrying out duties, however, it is possible to meet the odd rude one from either end.

Last edited by BrianG : 29-05-2006 at 17:19.
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Unread 29-05-2006, 17:55   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham
It's an old chestnut now whinging about how bad they are, but it can get irritating when you hear soothing 'ah they're not that bad' 'I used one the other day and had a pleasant ride' remarks about them. Try using these headache-generating, converted milk bottles Pritt-Sticked onto lawnmower engines every day of the week, day in day out, at 7.15 in the morning, or 19.00 in the evening, for an hour and a half, often standing, being frozen out of it in winter with the doors gaping open, the heating being turned off when leaving the station for the rest of the journey, the throbbing engines vibrating through your body for 90 minutes, their roar throbbing through you head, their noise eliminating the ability to listen to the radio or walkman on what are commuter trains, their operations interfering with radio signals, their noise often even hampering conversation on the trains, their horrendous acoustics permitting the noise to bounce around the cabins like crateload of ping-pong balls, the monstrous views of hunks of PVC-clad wall for the length of your journey, the unnecessary stickers tacked onto the windows reducing limited sightlines even further, the harsh florescent lighting, the lack of even carpet on the floor…
The list is endless.
Just two questions:
1. do you find the noise unacceptable in all areas of the train, or just in the 1 carriage out of 4 that has the 'driving engine' switched on?
2. What level of comfort do you think is appropriate for a destination like Dundalk? Do you think there should be intercity levels of comfort, or would something less be acceptable for you?
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Unread 29-05-2006, 21:48   #16
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Your latter question is a good one Thomas. In an ideal world, the 2900s would probably suffice, as it is possible to travel to Dundalk in 48 minutes flat - my record on two afternoon Enterprises in five years. In that sense, the full comforts of intercity would probably not be required (though still desirable).

Of course the reality is very different, with average journey times on the 2900s (nearly all used on multi-stop journeys) being 1hr 20 to 1hr 30, a ridiculous amount of time to be forced to use these models, though of course paling into insignificance when considering the Sligo line. Journey times from Dundalk have also been steadily increasing over the past few years, as more and more DARTs are added to the Dublin catchment of the Northern Line, not to mention vastly increased services to Drogheda too, seemingly none of which Dundalk has derived any benefit from.

As for the noise levels, first and foremost this is the worst aspect of the 2900s; if this alone could be solved that'd be 50% of the problem solved in my view. I simply don't know which carriages cause the most noise Thomas - believe me if I knew I'd certainly make it my business to avoid them! Indeed something I've been trying to do for a while now, but as far as can be made out every carriage seems to make an intolerable level of noise, i.e. engine noise rather than general noise. Obviously this cannot be the case if as you say there's only 1 in 4 that have an engine, but that's my experience.

Certainly I do know that the very last seats at the end of a 4 car set would literally do your head in with the noise - it is simply unbearable, in the mornings in particular with such a delicate disposition . I have come reeling off the train in the past from those seats, stuck there for an hour and a half. This combined with overcrowding, though not dependent on each other lest that impression be given, makes these trains franky inhumane at times.

But yes, there are better seats than others from an engine perspective, though I still haven't figured out which ones - it seems that the engines vibrate the entire cars. And also it is possible for them to operate quietly - on some occasions you can go speeding along without a peep ffrom the engine, as if sufficicent momentum has been built up for it to be swiched off. They're still noisy on such occasions, but not nearly as much as with the engines operating.

Another issue with noise is whining of all things - an incessant whine often comes from the engines or wheel operations that would do your head in, non-stop for 80-90 minutes. It's like having one of the notorious broken Enterprise toilet locks beeping the whole journey . Sounds a bit finnicky no doubt, but facing travelling on one of these yokes for up to an hour and a half (already a ridiculously excessive amount of time for the pittace distance involved), with these uncomfortable characteristics to put it mildly is just unacceptable. I can't imagine what it's like for Sligo - I really can't.

I'll try a more in depth investigation tomorrow as to which are the worst carriages

So are IÉ planning buying anymore of these yokes? Are some on order already?
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Unread 29-05-2006, 22:32   #17
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Theres an engine in every carriage but if you sit at the right end its a lot quiter.In carriages with toilets its the end by the toilet and in carriages without toilets its the end without the Drivers Cab as far as i can tell the underfloor engines are at the opposite end of the carraige from those listed above and while you can still hear them it helps make them more bearable.
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Unread 29-05-2006, 22:41   #18
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These railcars are IMO simply unfit for any journey over 1 hour. They should NEVER have been expected to do anything over that.

If there are to be any more purchases of Commuter DMUs they must definately be of a higher comfort standard than the 29k. Much better.
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Unread 29-05-2006, 22:49   #19
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To say the least.

And yes I'd concur about the engines being at the opposite end to the drivers cab - that would seem to be the case. Though it feels like there's also some sort of noisy rumbling units under the door areas too - that could be just general ride quality though
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Unread 30-05-2006, 07:37   #20
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The engines are where the chimneys are....
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