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Unread 15-06-2008, 10:06   #1
Mark Gleeson
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Default [article] Rail strike customers yet to get refunds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunday Tribune
Rail strike customers yet to get refunds
Paul Philpott
Irish Rail has yet to refund thousands of customers whose internet-booked train tickets were not honoured during last month's *drivers' strike.

An estimated 20,000 passengers a day suffered disruption to their travel plans as train drivers instigated unofficial industrial action against the national rail carrier.

Services to and from Cork, Kerry and the west of Ireland were affected from 22-29 May in the dispute, which started when one Cork-based driver refused to work to his roster and drive a train which was being used for trainee driver instruction.

Up to 50 colleagues working throughout the rail network went on strike in solidarity and during the course of the dispute, the action escalated to include drivers servicing Galway, Westport and Athlone.

Although the travelling public were the main victims of the lightning strikes, many have yet to be reimbursed because of what Irish Rail calls "logistical difficulties."

Company spokesman Barry Kenny told the Sunday Tribune: "We are processing refunds to those customers who purchased tickets online but could not travel due to the dispute. We have emailed e-bookers and advised them that a refund will be issued in due course. While the action was ongoing, the company pro-actively advised customers that refunds would be forthcoming."

Kenny insisted the delay in reimbursing customers was due to "logistical issues" relating to the large number of people involved, adding that he hoped the situation would be redressed by early this week.

The company estimates that in excess of 5,000 customers are due to receive refunds.

The Cork-Dublin route was the worst affected by the strike. Online tickets for this service cost €33 single and €65.50 return, while premier (first-class) tickets cost over €70.

Passengers who managed to avoid the strike for one leg of their journey but were affected on the second leg are set to face even longer waits for refunds but Kenny said that if customers contact Irish Rail directly they will be dealt with in the shortest possible time.

The company has begun its public relations fightback and is attempting to repair its battered image by employing dedicated staff to chat to passengers, carry their bags and generally portray the company in a good light.

Teams of specialist train 'hosts' are now operating on the Dublin-Cork line and if they prove popular they could be rolled out across the rail network.

The meet and greeters are responsible for informing passengers if there will be delays and showing people to their seats.
http://www.tribune.ie/news/home-news...o-get-refunds/

No surprise, it takes about 6 weeks normally to get the refund issued. Even before the disruption the excuse was 'pressure of work in this office and staff shortage'

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 15-06-2008 at 19:10. Reason: fixed quote box
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Unread 15-06-2008, 18:53   #2
Colm Moore
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Originally Posted by Sunday Tribune View Post
http://www.tribune.ie/news/home-news...o-get-refunds/

Teams of specialist train 'hosts' are now operating on the Dublin-Cork line and if they prove popular they could be rolled out across the rail network.
Is this the existing wishy-washy service or something new?
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Unread 15-06-2008, 19:19   #3
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This is part of the pr manipulation Irish Rail are playing to hide the chaos of May.

From day one in May 2006 the train hosts have been in hiding. I raised this with the manager in charge in late 2006. Latest report is they are no longer wearing their name badges. I'd be lucky to see the train host once on my way to/from Thurles.

Of course the only time I approached a train host for assistance I was told to take a hike.

It really depends which train host you get some are better than others. Of course it really helps if a senior manager is onboard trying to show the 'improved' service off to the press.
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Unread 16-06-2008, 12:01   #4
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My perception is that there are maybe two or three good train hosts who walk through the train, help people out, and so on, but the remainder just sit in citygold for the entire journey doing their best not to do anything.
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Unread 17-06-2008, 11:27   #5
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My perception is that there are maybe two or three good train hosts who walk through the train, help people out, and so on, but the remainder just sit in citygold for the entire journey doing their best not to do anything.
Never seen one at all on the 0515 ex Cork after Portarlington - do they not work that early?

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Unread 17-06-2008, 13:25   #6
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Mk4 train can't run unless there is a train host onboard
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Unread 18-06-2008, 18:56   #7
Colm Donoghue
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"The company has begun its public relations fightback and is attempting to repair its battered image by employing dedicated staff to chat to passengers, carry their bags and generally portray the company in a good light."


If Only Irish rail employed people to improve it's battered image by employing drivers and management to run a train service as advertised....
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Unread 19-06-2008, 11:21   #8
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Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Mk4 train can't run unless there is a train host onboard

Why? Technical requirement, or union (job protection) agreement? What precisely is the role?

I caught the 0515 this morning, the checker came round, no sign of customer host. What do they do for the 60mins from Portarlington to Heuston - enjoy a cup of tea in the buffet?

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Unread 19-06-2008, 11:42   #9
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The train host is a required person onboard from a safety point of view. A Mk4 train cannot carry a single passenger unless there is a train host on board, under worst case scenarios a second driver may be substituted. As far as we know that has happened once and only for about 1.5 miles

Normally the lazy ones hide in first class. What worries me is the train hosts don't seem to have a clue about the basic safety procedures outside the train as in what to do in a serious accident, thats not to say they haven't done the looking for the broken suspension bolt routine trackside

Where a railcar or DART is used where the train runs entirely under modern signaling there is no requirement for anyone other than the driver
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Unread 19-06-2008, 12:59   #10
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I am more concerned about the blasé attitude of a lot of train hosts to fire safety. Nearly every mark 4 train has baggage in the aisles or doorways which is a major hazard to a quick evacuation. Only one or two of them make an effort and get people to move them.
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