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Unread 03-08-2010, 16:12   #1
sean
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Angry What on Earth is going in Tralee station?

Saw this thread on Boards recently.

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showt...p?t=2055984825

It seems that, in its infinite wisdom, Irish Rail tore up the tracks in the Tralee station shed. Really, I'm lost for words. I would have imagined a straight track terminating in a shelter was a major asset, both in terms of having a sheltered (and thus less expsosed to the elements) storage place for stabled trains, as well as the obviosuly more pleasant place for passengers to get on/off. Seems I was wrong. At least according to the crowd in Ameins St.

Someone else pointed out something I had missed, the track under the shed roof was straight, while the platform further out is curved. This increases the gap between the train floor and platform (another pet peeve of mine) and is not allowed in new builds for accessibility reasons.

It looks like a small version of Rosslare "Harbour" all over again.

What gives?
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Unread 03-08-2010, 17:25   #2
Mark Gleeson
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There are a lot of people looking for trouble. Has this had any impact on passengers? No, will it save money Yes.

Trains never pulled under the roof, going back decades, the first coach was always just outside the roof, as is the second platform. Overnight trains are normally parked in the freight yard.

Two reasons,

1. The points and track require maintenance yet are rarely if very used. There is a loop in the freight yard which is available so why have two? This is fully inline with the tactics used by Swiss railways do we need this, if not pull it up to cut costs. The points question in Tralee were not replaced as part of mini-ctc and were manually operated not electric like the others at the station so are life expired

2. There is a need for access to the expanded station car park which couldn't be done with the track there.

The train is normally waiting for a passenger at Tralee when they arrive, there is a waiting room and is staffed
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Unread 03-08-2010, 20:09   #3
corktina
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i followed a link here from Boards

Whilst I fully understand the rationale of taking out the loop to save money, would it not have been a good idea to leave plain track in place in the train-shed to IMPROVE the service to IEs passengers?
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Unread 03-08-2010, 20:25   #4
zag
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You see, this is where the ordinary passenger like Sean and myself get confused . . .

What it looks like to Joe Public is that they had a station (a "mainline terminus" if you will), with tracks and a roof on it. You know, like a real station that you see in the movies.

Then for some reason they decided to move the business end of the station out to a part that doesn't have a roof on it. On the rare occasion that it rains in Ireland the customers wanting to board the train have to walk to the bit of the station without a roof and get wet.

Then they thought "hang on a second, we don't need these bits of track under the roof any more, let's take them up and save money."

Next, someone will say "hang on a sec, we've got this bit of roof with no track under it, let's get rid of it and save some money. Or maybe the lads can park their cars there."

It just seems from looking at it that the steps being taken are retrograde. Instead of replacing the life expired points they are taken out. Why weren't they replaced ? If it comes down to cost then how come we don't end up de-comissioning every piece of infrastructure instead of replacing it. Of course it costs money - infrastructure does.

As for the bit about needing access to the car park . . . c'mon. This is a railway station with an under-utilised ex-freight yard. Looking at the online maps there seems to be a large amount of space surrounding it to the north - do they really need to access it via the one key building they have ?

z
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Unread 03-08-2010, 20:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zag View Post
On the rare occasion that it rains in Ireland the customers wanting to board the train have to walk to the bit of the station without a roof and get wet.
Except there is a canopy roof over the platform away from the 'main' building.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 20:48   #6
Mark Gleeson
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All I know is they needed to provide access to the new car park, being of significant advantage to passengers. 50-60 extra spaces provided as a result.

The track at the end of the station needed to be removed to allow this safely, and to allow direct access to the station for those who parked their cars. The set of points would cost 500k to replace and for what they wouldn't be used anyway, so why waste the money when the goods yard has the facility that will only be used a handful of times in a year.

Trains in Tralee have not pulled in under the shed for a long time, the first passenger door was always beyond the roof. As far as I remember there is some form of canopy which extends beyond the roof for a good 40m or so.

There is going to have to be some serious pruning of infrastructure, if it ain't needed its going to have to get sliced. Emphasis here is if it isn't needed. Mini CTC got rid of large amount of waste. The removal of the loop at Cobh was stupid move as there was not alternative but in Tralee there is. Serious costs savings are needed to ensure there is no reduction in train frequencies.

Have passengers benefited, yes new expanded car park
Has a cost saving been achieved, yes both capital and current spending.
Any changes in passenger experience, no train parks same location as before
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Unread 03-08-2010, 21:39   #7
sean
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By all means get rid of the points if they're not needed. What I don't understand is why the one track nearest the platform could not have been maintained as just a track. Are they seriously going to save so much money shaving all 100 metres or so off the end of the line? I also don't know why a DMU wouldn't pull into the shed, were it able to do so.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 21:56   #8
Mark Gleeson
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I don't see the point really, the safety people would then want fume extraction gear as Galway has got

There is probably some limit on how close the buffer stop can be to a road.

From a passenger point of view there is no difference at all, but they get a car park with a direct access route to the station
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Unread 03-08-2010, 22:34   #9
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Quote:
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I don't see the point really, the safety people would then want fume extraction gear as Galway has got
That trainshed looks far more ventilated than the Limerick shed- and we have no extractors at all. (To my knowledge anyway)
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Unread 03-08-2010, 23:23   #10
Mark Gleeson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoncircles View Post
That trainshed looks far more ventilated than the Limerick shed- and we have no extractors at all. (To my knowledge anyway)
It could be that the shed needs serious work and is now off limits. I've checked and the points which were removed were not replaced during Mini-ctc works and were not replaced in 1979 either when the rest of Tralee got redone, so probably 50+ years old, so clearly life expired and as we have seen in Limerick Junction thats a recipe for trouble. One fewer thing to maintain, one fewer thing to go wrong.

The quest must be to save money without impacting on the service, preferably getting the passenger some benefit. Tralee got a car park, the outcome is positive.
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Unread 04-08-2010, 03:32   #11
dowlingm
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Mark, surely you would agree that parking the DMU under the shed where the platform is straight is advantageous from an accessibility perspective, rather than the curved uncovered part which is surely grandfathered?

As for the comparison with Galway - Galway is only open at one end. Even if Tralee was enclosed to prevent public access, that would only be necessary to the extent needed to impede access, not to fully enclose the car park end.
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Unread 04-08-2010, 06:16   #12
corktina
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I dont see the point in guessing answers in a bid to defend IEs actions. How far down that road are you prepared to go? Removal of Trainshed? Moving platform to station throat area? Substitution by a bus from Farranfore? from Killarney? from Mallow?.

I see here a chance missed to bring the train (which doesnt need to runaround) directly by the door where the passengers enter.I don't see that as looking for trouble, I see that as a minor almost cost-free improvement for passengers.
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Unread 05-08-2010, 09:00   #13
Mark Gleeson
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End of the day, Rail Users Ireland is about protecting passengers rights, seeking improvements where reasonably possible by pushing for improved standards, adoption of European best practice and opposing any downgrades in the passenger experience.

Tralee got a new car park, some cost savings were achieved and there was no impact on passenger services. Thats a win win and thats rare.

If you can forward on a cheque to Irish Rail to rebuild the platform under the roof which is too low by current standards go right ahead.

If folks want to continue to discuss the ins and outs of the roof, safety and cost thats what the members section is for.
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