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Unread 10-09-2016, 11:08   #1
ThomasJ
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Default Capacity on the maynooth line

On Thursday morning, in reply via Twitter to Simeone who couldnt board the first inbound train from maynooth, irish rail had stated that all available capacity is out.

Thursday and yesterday on my way the work, I spotted intercity railcar operating maynooth line services. There were complaints by people online who couldnt board docklands services that were operated by 22ks.

It has been quite a while since I have used the maynooth line but one thing that has stood out for me is the increase in intercity railcars on the maynooth line since I've used it.

Why is this happening ? Are there issues with 29ks? It's such a drop in capacity, to be running intercity railcars on busy commuter lines during the dublin bus strike is madness!

Last edited by ThomasJ : 10-09-2016 at 11:27.
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Unread 10-09-2016, 12:42   #2
Mark Gleeson
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Since the 2800 units left Dublin quite a lot of 22k's have appeared on Maynooth and some Northern line peak hours
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Unread 10-09-2016, 13:02   #3
James Howard
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Meanwhile they operate the Longford commuter services (over 2 hours end-to-end) with 29Ks which makes them all but pointless for anybody trying to get a bit of work done on their commute. This also takes 12 29k units out circulation for proper commuter work.

Irish Rail basically treat these services as positioning movements for Maynooth. With a minor bit of intelligence in terms of slotting them in front of M3 parkway trains, they could replace the 12 cars used for these runs with either 6 or 8 ICR cars, make them express from Clonsilla and everyone would be happier. They could even entirely eliminate the 1715 as a Longford train (make in run to Maynooth) and run the 1805 as a 7 car ICR which would split for the two morning services and nobody would miss it.

Irish Rail could actually reduce Longford commuter capacity and provide a better service. However, the need to use ICRs for local services is probably as a result of the idiotic locations where these trains are serviced.
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Unread 10-09-2016, 15:29   #4
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Meanwhile they operate the Longford commuter services (over 2 hours end-to-end) with 29Ks which makes them all but pointless for anybody trying to get a bit of work done on their commute. This also takes 12 29k units out circulation for proper commuter work.

Irish Rail basically treat these services as positioning movements for Maynooth. With a minor bit of intelligence in terms of slotting them in front of M3 parkway trains, they could replace the 12 cars used for these runs with either 6 or 8 ICR cars, make them express from Clonsilla and everyone would be happier. They could even entirely eliminate the 1715 as a Longford train (make in run to Maynooth) and run the 1805 as a 7 car ICR which would split for the two morning services and nobody would miss it.

Irish Rail could actually reduce Longford commuter capacity and provide a better service. However, the need to use ICRs for local services is probably as a result of the idiotic locations where these trains are serviced.
While I agree about the need to cancel the 17.15 and the splitting of the 18.05 for the mornings would be good. IE will likely view it as:
1 - The 17.15 will need to operate to Maynooth anyway and requires a returning driver as the Longford one will need to travel home on board the 18.05 from Maynooth.

2 - The two morning services operate at such a peak time through Maynooth line they would need to schedule another services to pick up the slack from it. I don't think drivers are in a position to work more services at the minute.

3 - The stock would be freed up however from a scheduling point of view all those sets may only get an extra run at the early or just before the peak flows start so would there be massive gain in removing them off Longford services from an operational point of view.

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On Thursday morning, in reply via Twitter to Simeone who couldnt board the first inbound train from maynooth, irish rail had stated that all available capacity is out.

Thursday and yesterday on my way the work, I spotted intercity railcar operating maynooth line services. There were complaints by people online who couldnt board docklands services that were operated by 22ks.

It has been quite a while since I have used the maynooth line but one thing that has stood out for me is the increase in intercity railcars on the maynooth line since I've used it.

Why is this happening ? Are there issues with 29ks? It's such a drop in capacity, to be running intercity railcars on busy commuter lines during the dublin bus strike is madness!
I don't really think you can count loading on Thursday or Friday as representative given the casual commuters using the service because of the strike. Yes I'm sure services are very busy when DB and the same problems exist but I suspect it's not to the same degree.

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Since the 2800 units left Dublin quite a lot of 22k's have appeared on Maynooth and some Northern line peak hours
Very difficult to see how the 16 sets are worked heavily even with a spare or two factored in considering ICRs share the routes in Limerick/Galway area.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 10-09-2016 at 15:33.
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Unread 10-09-2016, 16:23   #5
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The 22k are like the worst commuter trains I've ever seen, they're so unsuitable for commuter work it is laughable, just as much as the 29k are for intercity work.

I remember when the Dublin Bus strike was on a few years ago and the Maynooth line trains hada the busiest services switched to 6 car 22k whereas suddenly the quietest services were 8 car 29ks it hit me just how bad it was.

Whilst Irish Rail have undoubtedly improved since there, their attention to detail is quite frankly awful and things like this they seem not to care a jot on. The screens outside Connolly for instance have been broken for over 6 months.
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Unread 12-09-2016, 10:43   #6
James Shields
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I have to agree. IE seem to pay very little attention to the suitability of a given train for a particular journey.

29Ks should not be on any journey over 90 mins, and ideally should be avoided for journeys over 60 mins.

On the understand, I can understand the logistical issue with getting trains and drivers where they need to be. I think IE could really use another 5 or so 8-car commuter sets. There are also plenty of journeys running on 4-car sets that ought to be 8 cars.

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Unread 12-09-2016, 11:47   #7
James Howard
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How many Mark IVs are still in storage? Putting these back in service would release a few more 22k units which would in turn release commuter units?

Irish Rail really need to get out of this habit of storing perfectly good train units until they rot. Of course they can't because of financial pressure from the government but it is a criminal waste of public money to end up having to replace rolling stock barely half-way through its lifespan.
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Unread 12-09-2016, 12:16   #8
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How many Mark IVs are still in storage? Putting these back in service would release a few more 22k units which would in turn release commuter units?

Irish Rail really need to get out of this habit of storing perfectly good train units until they rot. Of course they can't because of financial pressure from the government but it is a criminal waste of public money to end up having to replace rolling stock barely half-way through its lifespan.
The two remaining sets are being put back into service to allow the PPT service commence this Autumn.

What exactly do you expect IE to do? They frankly had no option as they did not have the funds to maintain all of the rolling stock in service. The government subvention was significantly cut back - that is fundamentally what has caused this issue along with the shorter DARTs and the ICR reconfiguration.

People immediately blame IE yet don't seem to recognise that this is as a result of the cuts in public spending that happened as a result of the recession.

The capital cost of the PPT project, and the increased PSO funding includes the cost of restoring the remaining Mark 4 sets to service.

There are insufficient 29k sets available to operate all of the Connolly commuter services - hence the need for ICRs to operate some of them. Those ICRs usually then operate some Intercity services before/after the commuter services.

What is needed is to get the 2700s back in service. For the 2700s to return to service (and cascade the 2800s back to Dublin) more government funding will be needed in the form of increased PSO monies. That has yet to start happening.

Last edited by berneyarms : 12-09-2016 at 12:27.
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Unread 12-09-2016, 14:16   #9
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I wasn't actually blaming Irish Rail - I suggested that the reason for the problem currently is to do with the government who once the purse-strings are loosened love to have their pictures taken beside expensive shiny new trains rather than putting a few quid into maintaining what we've got already.

So with 2 Mark IVs returning, this should release 2 or more 22k sets which is great news. They could replace 29Ks operating longer-distance Connolly commuter services with these and it would make everyone a bit happier.

Hopefully, they'll get funding to restore the 2700s rather than having to leave them idle for another few years and then having to spend 50 million euro buying stock to replace them. Unfortunately with our present political system it's difficult to see our masters and leaders being so enlightened.
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Unread 12-09-2016, 14:40   #10
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I wasn't actually blaming Irish Rail - I suggested that the reason for the problem currently is to do with the government who once the purse-strings are loosened love to have their pictures taken beside expensive shiny new trains rather than putting a few quid into maintaining what we've got already.

So with 2 Mark IVs returning, this should release 2 or more 22k sets which is great news. They could replace 29Ks operating longer-distance Connolly commuter services with these and it would make everyone a bit happier.

Hopefully, they'll get funding to restore the 2700s rather than having to leave them idle for another few years and then having to spend 50 million euro buying stock to replace them. Unfortunately with our present political system it's difficult to see our masters and leaders being so enlightened.
I know you weren't blaming IE - but you're in a minority on that! Most people fail to see the correlation between the reduction in funding from government and the capacity issues.

The two returning Mark 4 sets are releasing ICRs for use on the Kildare Line services through the Phoenix Park Tunnel - they won't help the Connolly side at all.
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Unread 12-09-2016, 15:18   #11
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The two returning Mark 4 sets are releasing ICRs for use on the Kildare Line services through the Phoenix Park Tunnel - they won't help the Connolly side at all.
IE clearly have the capacity already so I would not be surprised if here is no change in Mark IV ops, at a push you might see one set back. Unless they move a set to Limerick or Galway.

As things stand the key times are:
14.00-20.00
16.00-22.00
21.00-08.20 and 08.30

Bringing back a Mark IV for 14.00 rotation might be needed (Friday at least) however as they have not added the 20.00 back into schedules I don't see them running an empty Mark IV nightly for the early morning service if the 21.00 was also converted to Mark IV.

Any other ICR ops are not relevant to PPT operations. Given the capacity change on Friday afternoons over other days they should have adequate stock available to operate most of the PPT service.

We shall see....
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Unread 12-09-2016, 15:29   #12
berneyarms
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IE clearly have the capacity already so I would not be surprised if here is no change in Mark IV ops, at a push you might see one set back. Unless they move a set to Limerick or Galway.

As things stand the key times are:
14.00-20.00
16.00-22.00
21.00-08.20 and 08.30

Bringing back a Mark IV for 14.00 rotation might be needed (Friday at least) however as they have not added the 20.00 back into schedules I don't see them running an empty Mark IV nightly for the early morning service if the 21.00 was also converted to Mark IV.

Any other ICR ops are not relevant to PPT operations. Given the capacity change on Friday afternoons over other days they should have adequate stock available to operate most of the PPT service.

We shall see....
You keep focussing on Cork and ignoring some of the early morning commuters out of Heuston.

Perhaps the early morning Carlow and the early Heuston-Portlaoise and return could switch to Mark 4 operation releasing ICRs.
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Unread 12-09-2016, 15:36   #13
Jamie2k9
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You keep focussing on Cork and ignoring some of the early morning commuters out of Heuston.

Perhaps the early morning Carlow and the early Heuston-Portlaoise and return could switch to Mark 4 operation releasing ICRs.
I did say unless they move to other routes....lets say they do for example Portlaoise IE would be very reluctant to return them for such service unless they really needed to. They would try and get as much out of the ICR's before going back to Mark IV.
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Unread 15-09-2016, 08:55   #14
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I may be misunderstanding the OP but where should the intercity trains be? Is there some other line they can use?
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Unread 15-09-2016, 11:26   #15
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I may be misunderstanding the OP but where should the intercity trains be? Is there some other line they can use?
The OP was querying why Intercity rolling stock was being used on commuter services rather than Commuter rolling stock.

The answer is that there is not enough commuter rolling stock in service to operate all of the commuter services - they need to bring more stock out of storage.

That requires additional government funding.
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Unread 15-09-2016, 11:45   #16
James Shields
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How costly will it be to bring the 2700s back into service? Considering they've had several refurbishments and always seem to cause problems, is this a case of throwing good money after bad?

I know getting the current government to loosen the purse strings where public transport is concerned is a near impossibility, but I can't help wondering if it would work out cheaper in the long run to order another batch of 29Ks from CAF (possibly with some modifications to the spec). They may not be perfect, but their reliability has been rock solid, and keeping the number of different types of stock down would give economies of scale for maintenance and driver training.

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Unread 15-09-2016, 11:54   #17
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The OP was querying why Intercity rolling stock was being used on commuter services rather than Commuter rolling stock.

The answer is that there is not enough commuter rolling stock in service to operate all of the commuter services - they need to bring more stock out of storage.

That requires additional government funding.
But isn't the intercity stock that he's seeing simply the intercity trains that come through on that line (from Sligo and Longford)?
Or is he saying that they are using intercity stock for runs that start in Maynooth (which I would find quite surprising).
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Unread 15-09-2016, 12:04   #18
ThomasJ
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They're using intercity stock on the Maynooth and M3 parkway lines which are not suitable when theres large passenger numbers involved
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Unread 15-09-2016, 12:08   #19
berneyarms
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But isn't the intercity stock that he's seeing simply the intercity trains that come through on that line (from Sligo and Longford)?
Or is he saying that they are using intercity stock for runs that start in Maynooth (which I would find quite surprising).
Well you are going to have to be surprised.

They are using Intercity stock on certain Maynooth and M3 Parkway commuter services, along with some Northern line services as well.

As per my post above there is not enough commuter rolling stock available in service to operate all of the commuter services.
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Unread 15-09-2016, 12:09   #20
berneyarms
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They're using intercity stock on the Maynooth and M3 parkway lines which are not suitable when theres large passenger numbers involved
Indeed but when the option is not to run them at all because there is insufficient money available to operate all of the commuter rolling stock, what do you expect to happen?
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