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Unread 27-07-2006, 19:15   #1
John J
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Angry Slack in timetables...

Is anything going to be done about the level of slack in Irish Rail timetables? It has surely gone beyond a joke since the end of last year.
This is something that really pisses me off as this slack costs me up to an hour and a half per week.

For example, I caught the 17.00 Connolly-Sligo this evening as far as Longford. First stop was Mullingar. Used to the long spells of hanging around, I decided I'd keep an eye on my watch.

It arrived in Mullingar at 17.58, but the scheduled departure time isn't till 18.06. Cue a 10 minute wait until the eventual departure at 18.08.
Next stop Edgeworthstown, where we waited 3-4 minutes.
The train also sat in Longford for quite some time.
I was well out of sight by the time it left for the rest of its trip to Sligo, which it would complete at the lightning fast average speed of 40mph.

I can see why Irish Rail might want to add slack at the end of a journey, but surely adding these lengths throughout the schedule is totally inexcusable?
The Sligo line was faster last year with loco-hauled stock and token exchange.
In fact, the best end-to-end speed declined from 45.5mph to 43.8mph.

I can only speak for the Sligo line - is this widespread elsewhere? And if so, what is going to be done about it?
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Unread 27-07-2006, 19:24   #2
Mark Gleeson
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This is the now standard punctuality standard crap, Sligo of course has the most reliable service in the country, that said its taking at least 15 minutes longer than it should

29000 railcars are mean machines when driven hard and will outrun anything they will make up huge chunks of time, you will get slack with single lines thats always been the way

I keep saying Thurles Dublin 64 minutes flat in the old days was a repeatable time, best time currently is north of 75 minutes and they have trouble making that

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 31-07-2006 at 10:13.
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Unread 27-07-2006, 19:50   #3
Derek Wheeler
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John,

Your issue is one that is being covered in P11's forthcoming version of what the IE customer charter should be like. We are also working on a legal method of obtaining punctuality statistics from IE. The "padding" in the timetable is purely a method of ensuring close compatibility with promises in the current passenger charter. In simple terms, a con job, that doesn't push the railway to obtaining a level of service, that justifies two things...

1. The investment made

2. A modern 21st service.
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Unread 27-07-2006, 20:34   #4
Thomas J Stamp
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Unread 27-07-2006, 20:51   #5
Oisin88
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Default The Slack is Hitting Back!

Funny thing, the Galway-Dublin timetable padding is mostly in the Tullamore/Portarlington bit. Traditionally it is 10 minutes late (consistently) at those stations.

Last few weeks they have been making it on time. Then they hand around the scenic inchicore "semi-tunnel" for 10-15 minutes. The announcer let us know last week that they had to wait because they arrived ahead of schedule.
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Unread 27-07-2006, 20:58   #6
Derek Wheeler
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[quote=Oisin88]Funny thing, the Galway-Dublin timetable padding is mostly in the Tullamore/Portarlington bit. Traditionally it is 10 minutes late (consistently) at those stations.[quote]

Thats probably because, this section has to allow for the padding on services operating on the Cork line.

Let one pad go and the other pad in and we aaalllllllll paaaadddddd together!

Get Paul Mcartney and the frog on the case.

Its actually becoming a real bone of contention for customers. They've started noticing it and maybe we'll go to town on it.
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Unread 28-07-2006, 12:02   #7
Mark Gleeson
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We have done some research on this
http://www.platform11.org/passenger_...ting_there.php
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Unread 28-07-2006, 19:58   #8
Oisin88
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It's more serious for me because it affects my train home (1:14) and not my train to work (0:56) i.e. it's OisÃ*n's time and not Mary Harney's (my boss)
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Unread 28-07-2006, 22:52   #9
Thomas J Stamp
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Oisin, do you know Paul Grannell? Tell him I hope he doing ok if you do, ta.
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Unread 31-07-2006, 20:58   #10
Oisin88
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Thomas J, I'm just a grumpy commuter, head stuck in laptop or book so I don't know my fellow sufferers! After 3.5 years I know the taximen at Tullamore Stations name and one of the station staff.... That's where I get my information.
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Unread 31-07-2006, 21:00   #11
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their names that is. I know the rest to see only.
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Unread 31-07-2006, 21:43   #12
Thomas J Stamp
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No, you got me wrong, I suspect you work in St john's hospital there beside Heuston, Paul works there in the it department Thought you might know him.
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Unread 01-08-2006, 18:44   #13
Oisin88
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No I do it the other way around. I work in Tullamore Hospital and live in Dublin!
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Unread 01-08-2006, 22:15   #14
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Timings between Kildare and Heuston have a huge amount of padding. I think a blanket 10 minutes was added a few years ago to all arrivals at Heuston when the platforms there were being redeveloped but this has never been removed.

The 17:30 Limerick-Heuston is scheduled to arrive at 20:00 but generally gets in at 19:45 even when operated by vacuum-braked Mark IIs.

The 15:30 Cork-Dublin is allocated an incredible 50 minutes between Kildare and Heuston. Today it left Kildare at 17:47, 12 minutes late and arrived at 18:16, 9 minutes early. It looks like there is 15-20 minutes padding in the schedules to me.
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Unread 01-08-2006, 22:25   #15
Thomas J Stamp
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Well, lads, if you want to do a bit of Philip Marlow on it, have a good look at the IE customer charter.

We're doing a better one to be revealed soon.
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Unread 01-08-2006, 22:32   #16
Mark Gleeson
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You think that is bad

left Athlone 10 minutes late arrived Inchicore sat there for 10 minutes, arrived Heuston 5 early, train made up 25 minutes on paper

I did Dublin Kildare start to pass in 25 flat last week nothing unusual there. I've done Kildare Dublin pass to halt in 23 minutes 15 seconds

Put simply the fastest time today Port Laois Dublin is 55 minutes, back in 1928 the up mail could do it in 51 minutes. Dublin Port Laois in 46 minutes is no problem
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Unread 02-08-2006, 02:37   #17
sean
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I know from some experience that there's at least 10 min - probably more - padding on the Sligo Line as far as Longford.
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Unread 02-08-2006, 08:31   #18
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The padding from Kildare to Heuston seems to be a relic of work at Heuston whhich has now finished and no-one told the timetable people. Reminds me of all those roadworks signs which stay up ages after the work has been finished (e.g. at Dundrum Luas Bridge).

However there just may me some method in this apparent madness. With the Hazlehatch-Cherry Orchard quadrupling works due to start, they will probably need those extra 10 minutes. So why remove them only to re-instate them and confuse everyone?
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Unread 02-08-2006, 08:44   #19
Mark Gleeson
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Doesn't explain the 7-10 minutes between Mallow and Cork

If you look back at the timetables the extra time between Kildare and Dublin added for the works in Heuston was removed, the padding predates the Heuston upgrade

I can recall arriving in Hueston 10-13 minutes early before the upgrade and that was even with a fairly slow run in from Portarlington

Put it this way last week on the slightly sick MK4 train limited to 60 mph we did Kildare Dublin in 36 minutes which is still faster than any published timing despite not being able to travel at line speed

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 02-08-2006 at 08:46.
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Unread 02-08-2006, 13:49   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson
Doesn't explain the 7-10 minutes between Mallow and Cork
Or the fact that Mallow-Cork takes 29 minutes on the fastest InterCity and 37 minutes on the slowest when there are no intermediate stops.

On Arrows the time varies from 23 to 28 minutes. Is the Arrow rolling stock really that much facter than the equivalent on InterCity?
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