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Unread 11-01-2010, 14:48   #1
dowlingm
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Default [Letters] Coping with the big freeze / Rebuilding the rail network

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Madam, – Upon my return from a brief visit to London recently I was reminded of a distinct advantage that cities, such as London, have over our capital city. In times when ice-cold temperatures make surface-level road transport virtually grind to a halt, the London Underground rail system ensures that the business of the region continues. This cold reality offers something very instructive to Dublin. It says we need to build Metro North, Metro West, the Dart Underground and make a start in London’s direction. – Yours, etc, JOHN B REID,
Knapton Road,
Dún Laoghaire,
Co Dublin.
Someone should let this guy in on the realities of the Western Rail Canal too
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Madam, – Being among the last of the 180 people who donated blood in the Claremorris clinic last Wednesday evening, I happened to meet the driver who was bringing these donations back to Dublin on a near impassible N60.
Should weather conditions worsen, railways will be the only way to get these life-saving supplies to the patients in counties Dublin, Louth and Carlow, where supplies had come under pressure due to the inclement weather.
Keynesian economics argued that in times like these, government should invest in infrastructure and particularly capital intensive infrastructure projects. I welcome the rebuilding of the Western Rail Corridor. For more reasons than ever, the rebuilding of this railway between Limerick, Galway, Mayo and Sligo must be a priority, together with Athlone-Mullingar, Dublin-Clonsilla and any other railway line that remains intact in Ireland today.
Creating thousands of jobs, boosting tourism, helping students and commuters, and saving lives seems like very solid economics to me. – Yours, etc,
MICHAEL KEAN,
Ashford Court,
Claremorris,
Co Mayo.
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Unread 11-01-2010, 16:10   #2
Thomas J Stamp
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lunacy and ill informed rubbish.
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Unread 11-01-2010, 22:19   #3
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In what way may I ask is this ill informed and lunacy, these points on the whole seem quite valid to me.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 00:12   #4
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The first one is broadly correct. The second.....

is talking of 180 people in a town of 2,500 people. Many people are ill informed as to the realities of rail transport, and that it works effectively where there are high population densities. The weather conditions we have are hardly justification for restoring the rail network on the likes of Athenry to Claremorris.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 00:26   #5
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Metro West as highlighted is a high questionable project, be nice but no one really has been able to explain why it works, the first letter is broadly in line with policy, though the motivation might be placing a little too much confidence in the system

5 days of fairly pathetic snow does not make a business case to open a rail line, the WRC crowd are getting ever more desperate. Its not as if the rail system worked perfectly during the cold patch, trains were failing all over the place.

What we need to move forward is a solid case based on repeat daily business - paying commuters, not once off events, grannies on free travel etc.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 02:30   #6
dowlingm
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cavanrailbus
1. MetroWest won't be underground - clearly the letter writer never bothered to find that out.
2. IE's poor response to the weather - frozen points, cancelled services, railcars DOA - will have convinced nobody that it is a valid alternative to the roads this winter.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 12:40   #7
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Originally Posted by dowlingm View Post
cavanrailbus

2. IE's poor response to the weather - frozen points, cancelled services, railcars DOA - will have convinced nobody that it is a valid alternative to the roads this winter.
They may have had failures, but they didn't completely withdraw service like Dublin Bus did.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 13:33   #8
Mark Gleeson
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Same evening as Dublin bus pulled services, the entire southbound DART line shutdown for close on an hour, why a train went on fire. 4 hour delay to Tralee and not forgetting the fact the heating isn't working on a large number of trains

Docklands was shut for no good reason (several trains used the points at Glasnevin despite IE saying they where locked for a single route)

Golden opportunity was lost as IE couldn't deliver a quality product
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Unread 12-01-2010, 14:01   #9
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Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Same evening as Dublin bus pulled services, the entire southbound DART line shutdown for close on an hour, why a train went on fire. 4 hour delay to Tralee and not forgetting the fact the heating isn't working on a large number of trains

Docklands was shut for no good reason (several trains used the points at Glasnevin despite IE saying they where locked for a single route)

Golden opportunity was lost as IE couldn't deliver a quality product
None of these are the same as completely pulling services and leaving people with the choice of either staying in a hotel (if they could find one) , trying to find a taxi or walking many hours home.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 14:53   #10
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Compared to most, Irish Rail's service has been pretty good over the last few days.

They got me from Cork to Dublin on time yesterday on a day when most road and air services were unable to operate at all because of the amount of snow that fell in the south on Sunday night.

Certainly, their operation hasn't been perfect, but give some credit for outperforming the opposition.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 15:10   #11
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Services were pulled twice on the Maynooth line, no trains before 11 on New Years day. Delays of up to 90 minutes on Wednesday. Passengers in Longford left delayed 3 out of 5 mornings, passengers in Dundalk left without heating. DART level crossings went on the blink, Waterford line services turned into a farce with passenger swapping trains and getting to spend hours stuck in the cold.

I count no fewer than 7 29k failures. 8+ hour journey to Tralee in the cold. No one was left stranded but the scale of disruption was very significant. While things kept moving punctuality nose dived, it was a poor showing, all avoidable and all within Irish Rail's control. They failed to prepare and the infrastructure and trains caved in. The failed heating on the trains has been known for years but hasn't been fixed

Dublin Bus couldn't operate safely and clearly stated that in public, Irish Rail could provide a full service but it collapsed when it was needed most and when it went badly wrong hid the details. During the fire incident on Wednesday no station PA was made to explain, the platform displays said nothing

I know several people who couldn't get home by car, so Dublin Bus are absolved of some responsibility, the roads were clogged, the inability of the local authorities to handle less than an inch of snow and the H&S stopped play.

The only thing we have learned is Irish Rail has no clue how to maintain the heating on its entire fleet of railcars.

In comparison the Luas ran flawlessly bar a shutdown due a lighting strike and minor delay at Charlemont
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Unread 13-01-2010, 10:05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
What we need to move forward is a solid case based on repeat daily business - paying commuters, not once off events, grannies on free travel etc.
Last I heard, grannies on free travel were passengers too. Or does RUI only represent fare paying passengers who travel every day ? From a profitability point of view fare paying passengers are very important, without a doubt. Since when was RUI concerned with the profitability of the service instead of the the service level ?

z
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Unread 13-01-2010, 11:11   #13
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What we what is a rail service which works, you cannot build a business case for new lines on grannies (who pay in real terms less than 60% of market value) the numbers are not there nor is the business regular. Nor can it be built on once off events.

You need a stable dependable patronage to drive the timetable, growth in passenger numbers => more trains. The service cannot operate with a knife hanging over it. Unless the business case can support 7+ trains a day each way there is no point as below that the frequency is unless for daily commuters

The WRC is a blackhole in money terms and will lose multiple millions per annum, has no business case and will result in later rail projects being delayed and cancelled as what little confidence exists at government level will be lost. In real terms the WRC will cost 15-20 times more per passenger than the Dublin Suburban network, its very existence is already drawing resources away leading to current passengers suffering.

Just remember when you are wedged into a 4 coach commuter train in Dublin, there will be a 2 car railcar with less than a half dozen passengers disturbing the sheep on the WRC I don't call that fair nor is it sensible business and it certainly is not in the interest of those we represent, the passengers. There are no passengers on the WRC last time I checked.

Any expansion of the network cannot come at the price of services being reduced elsewhere
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Unread 13-01-2010, 11:33   #14
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You can add to that: IE's maintenance budget is no doubt limited and less than they would like. How much of the neglect and consequent time-wasting temporary speed restrictions on the Cork line is due to resources being diverted to Athenry-Ennis?
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Unread 15-01-2010, 12:44   #15
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None of this mentions the fact that the WRC is going to be uttlerly useless for commuters as it would appear impossible to keep Limerick-Ennis open due to flooding.

It was closed for 50 days in February/March 2008, and it likely to be longer again this time as it has been closed since late November.

So basically they might has well have used the 100+ million euro they have thrown at this project as fuel for steam excursions for all the good it will do. And the 100 million doesn't include rolling stock.

I simply can't believe that IE have managed to replace pretty much every component on the entire rail system (Rolling stock, track, signals, most level crossings) over the last 10 years and reliablility has basically gone backwards.
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Unread 17-01-2010, 23:39   #16
Thomas J Stamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavanrailbus View Post
In what way may I ask is this ill informed and lunacy, these points on the whole seem quite valid to me.
what they ^^^^^^^ have all just said. I can do it all condensed like
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