Rail Users Ireland Forum

Go Back   Rail Users Ireland Forum > Irish Rail Customer Service Issues > General Irish Rail Discussion
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Unread 12-06-2014, 17:40   #201
James Howard
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
James Howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sligo Line
Posts: 1,082
Default

Thanks for that. I'll give it a whirl in Longford and see if they can make that work. Although the last time I checked, I could have had a flight for half the money but that isn't really the point.
James Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 22-06-2014, 22:15   #202
Traincustomer
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seat 99
Posts: 538
Default

No problem James. Hope you get sorted.
Traincustomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 23-06-2014, 20:48   #203
Eddie
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 217
Default

Saw this on the Irish Ferries website:

http://www.irishferries.com/ie-en/news/News140617/

First paragraph suggests that you can book Irish Ferries Rail and Sail tickets through Pembroke, which I don't think is correct - only Stena services come up if you try to book a ticket through to Rosslare.

I see that several stations can be booked directly to and from Ireland.

You can even get a quote for a one way ticket from Ireland (in sterling) but regrettably only gives UK stations as possible machines you can pick the tickets up from.
Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 18-07-2014, 07:42   #204
James Howard
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
James Howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sligo Line
Posts: 1,082
Default

I've figured out why normal people don't bother with Sail & Rail any more. Talk about a rigmarole booking a ticket. I went into Longford and spent 15 minutes waiting while the ticket agent finished up her phone call - I'm not exaggerating here. I gave up waiting at that stage and stormed off in a huff.

So then I tried the internet. It doesn't appear to be possible to book Stena at all on the internet and half of their ferries don't take foot passengers anyway. So I tried ringing them and they said that they just give you an open rail ticket for the journey but I would have preferred a seat booking so I gave up on that.

So I tried Irish Ferries who are by far the best of a bad lot. But when I wanted to book a club class ticket for the ferry, this is not possible on-line and it says to send them an email.

So after several emails which obviously weren't read on their side (they couldn't seem to get their head around the fact that I lived in Ireland and was booking a ticket from England), I did what I should have done in the first place and rang. This produced results and they were quite efficient in being able to lift the details off my email trail and I got a ticket booked.

The next thing I got an email confirming that I had booked a ferry ticket but no mention of a rail ticket, which resulted in yet another phone call where they said that this always happens and to just confirm the rail part of the journey when I got the ticket in the post.

In the course of this, I spent 5 minutes seeing what a flight would cost which would have resulted in a ticket costing about 2 euro less (including a checked bag) on Aer Lingus. So for flying, less money and a 5 minute booking process while Sail & Rail took me 3 phone calls, a few web sessions, 5 emails and a booking office visit.

It is a pity it is all so complicated - I am looking forward to the journey and figure that it is a much more civilised way to travel than flying.
James Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 18-07-2014, 15:37   #205
haddockman
Regular Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 113
Default

This is the thing. The last few times I have travelled to London, sail/rail has come out way more expensive than a Ryanair flight to Stansted and taking the train from there into the city.

When you factor in the silly booking procedures the plane is winning hands down.
haddockman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 18-07-2014, 15:49   #206
plant43
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 278
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Howard View Post
I've figured out why normal people don't bother with Sail & Rail any more. Talk about a rigmarole booking a ticket. I went into Longford and spent 15 minutes waiting while the ticket agent finished up her phone call - I'm not exaggerating here. I gave up waiting at that stage and stormed off in a huff.

So then I tried the internet. It doesn't appear to be possible to book Stena at all on the internet and half of their ferries don't take foot passengers anyway. So I tried ringing them and they said that they just give you an open rail ticket for the journey but I would have preferred a seat booking so I gave up on that.

So I tried Irish Ferries who are by far the best of a bad lot. But when I wanted to book a club class ticket for the ferry, this is not possible on-line and it says to send them an email.

So after several emails which obviously weren't read on their side (they couldn't seem to get their head around the fact that I lived in Ireland and was booking a ticket from England), I did what I should have done in the first place and rang. This produced results and they were quite efficient in being able to lift the details off my email trail and I got a ticket booked.

The next thing I got an email confirming that I had booked a ferry ticket but no mention of a rail ticket, which resulted in yet another phone call where they said that this always happens and to just confirm the rail part of the journey when I got the ticket in the post.

In the course of this, I spent 5 minutes seeing what a flight would cost which would have resulted in a ticket costing about 2 euro less (including a checked bag) on Aer Lingus. So for flying, less money and a 5 minute booking process while Sail & Rail took me 3 phone calls, a few web sessions, 5 emails and a booking office visit.

It is a pity it is all so complicated - I am looking forward to the journey and figure that it is a much more civilised way to travel than flying.
Just a couple of things

- not being able to buy club class before boarding is not really a big issue. There's no cost difference and it rarely (if ever) sells out. In fact, I tried to buy it at Holyhead before was told to buy it on the ship.

- the sail'n'rail tickets sold by Irish Ferries/Irish Rail/Stena in Ireland are always of the open type with no reservations (I actually think that's an advantage - buying from the UK means you have to travel on the trains that you are booked on, which means less flexibility) You could try ringing the train companies in the UK and getting a seat reservation that way (I think it's free in most cases)
plant43 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 18-07-2014, 16:14   #207
James Howard
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
James Howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sligo Line
Posts: 1,082
Default

My point is that as a first time customer, the process is overly complicated. I want to make a booking and not have to mess about. It is massively simpler to book a flight.

I do travel by ferry with the car relatively frequently but haven't used Irish Ferries for years so I don't know if the Club class gets booked out. Stena Plus can get very busy on the peak services. The last time I came through Rosslare it was actually booked out.

I don't think very many people will choose SailRail now for price so it is particularly odd that there is no way of choosing a First Class product when booking at all. You can't book First Class train tickets at all and apparently you can't even upgrade on the train but I would think that they might quite quite a bit of interest in a more premium product.

Mind you, looking at the price of First Class ticket in the UK perhaps not. Does anybody buy these tickets with their own money? I had a look at a random train on a Saturday in September and the cheapest 1st ticket is 6 times the price of the cheapest standard.
James Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 18-07-2014, 17:06   #208
Traincustomer
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seat 99
Posts: 538
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Howard View Post
I've figured out why normal people don't bother with Sail & Rail any more. Talk about a rigmarole booking a ticket. I went into Longford and spent 15 minutes waiting while the ticket agent finished up her phone call - I'm not exaggerating here. I gave up waiting at that stage and stormed off in a huff.
Having had my fair share of frustrating SailRail experiences (mainly the booking & information side of things) with Irish Rail, Stena Line & Irish Ferries over the last number of years I am disappointed to hear of the difficulties you experienced as a first time user.

Irish Rail's Passenger Charter states:

Quote:
During advertised hours of business, you should be able to buy your ticket in seven minutes or less. Outside our busy peak periods, we aim to serve you within three minutes. This excludes exceptional circumstances.
Have never booked SailRail at Longford but have used the station and bought "domestic" tickets there from time to time and generally find staff helpful including one winter night when I missed a bus and needed to get a taxi number.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Howard View Post
So then I tried the internet. It doesn't appear to be possible to book Stena at all on the internet and half of their ferries don't take foot passengers anyway. So I tried ringing them and they said that they just give you an open rail ticket for the journey but I would have preferred a seat booking so I gave up on that.
All Stena Line sailings from Holyhead (Dun Laoghaire & Dublin) and Fishguard-Rosslare take foot passengers. The Stena Nordica from Holyhead used to not take foot passengers but now does. Possibly there is some web-based information which hasn't been updated still out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Howard View Post
So I tried Irish Ferries who are by far the best of a bad lot. But when I wanted to book a club class ticket for the ferry, this is not possible on-line and it says to send them an email.
As a related aside it's possible to purchase Irish Ferries Club Class as an add-on when booking from this side to England/Wales online. I rarely upgrade - the last time I wished to do so was from Rosslare to Fishguard but the Stena Plus was booked out several days ahead.

If travelling via Fishguard-Rosslare it's possible to upgrade to first class at the weekend for the London/Bristol/South Wales element of the journey with First Great Western (first class not available with Arriva on the leg to/from Fishguard).

A similar offering seems to be available with Virgin Trains at weekends though I've never tried this upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Howard View Post
It is a pity it is all so complicated - I am looking forward to the journey and figure that it is a much more civilised way to travel than flying.
I find the Arriva Trains Wales site to be the best site if booking an England/Wales to Ireland SailRail. I look forward to the day when one can visit the Irish Rail site and book their entire SailRail trip online and get a reservation number enabling ticket/coupon pick up at any ticket vending machine.

Hope your trip is plain sailing and railing :-)
Traincustomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-08-2014, 16:39   #209
Traincustomer
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seat 99
Posts: 538
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie View Post
Saw this on the Irish Ferries website:

http://www.irishferries.com/ie-en/news/News140617/

First paragraph suggests that you can book Irish Ferries Rail and Sail tickets through Pembroke, which I don't think is correct - only Stena services come up if you try to book a ticket through to Rosslare.

I see that several stations can be booked directly to and from Ireland.

You can even get a quote for a one way ticket from Ireland (in sterling) but regrettably only gives UK stations as possible machines you can pick the tickets up from.
Pembroke must have been a typo in that press release. Never say never but I'd be surprised if SailRail is reinstated on that route given the rail station in Pembroke Dock is about a mile from the ferry terminal whereas Megabus and Eurolines bring people right to the terminal/onto the ship.

A nice touch on Irish Ferries vessel on the Pembroke-Rosslare run is that they have rail info for Wales available beside the information desk - a poster plus takeaway booklets.
Traincustomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-08-2014, 16:41   #210
Traincustomer
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seat 99
Posts: 538
Default Irish Ferries SailRail video

A video outlining the essence of SailRail on the Dublin to Holyhead route is available towards the bottom of the SailRail page at:

http://www.irishferries.com/ie-en/offers/sail-rail/
Traincustomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-08-2014, 09:21   #211
James Howard
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
James Howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sligo Line
Posts: 1,082
Default

Interesting how they forgot about the overcrowding, cancelled club class, massive queues and rude staff that I experience a couple of weeks ago on RailSail. I travel by ferry with the car a couple of times a year - always by Stena line and won't be darkening Irish Ferries' door again for some time to come.
James Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-08-2014, 14:27   #212
Traincustomer
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seat 99
Posts: 538
Default

Disappointed to hear of this unsatisfactory experience. It may be worth dropping Irish Ferries a line or e-mail.
Traincustomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-08-2014, 16:35   #213
James Howard
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
James Howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sligo Line
Posts: 1,082
Default

I already did and sent them a list of specific issues. No point in just moaning on the internet about poor service. Companies need to know and then it is up to them whether or not they use the information. So far, 7 days later, I've not had anything back aside from acknowledgement of receipt.

The train journey from Oxford was quite nice. The first two trains (Oxford to Birmingham New Street and BNS to Crewe) were very comfortable - almost deserted, but Crewe to Holyhead was a packed Virgin Super Voyager. I'll not moan about Irish Rail so much any more as a 22K is far more comfortable even if they are a little lacking in onboard facilities. To be honest, I'd probably even prefer a 29K to the Virgin train which I though was very cramped.
James Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-01-2015, 15:56   #214
comcor
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cork-Dublin, Cork Commuter and occasionally DART and Dublin-Wexford
Posts: 783
Default

My turn for a Sail-Rail question...

I'm going to need to get from Cardiff to Wexford shortly, although I think I can get collected from Rosslare, so I won't be tied to being on the overnight ferry.

I have a couple of questions
  • On the Arriva Trains Wales website, the date I want is just beyond the threshold. Unlike Irish Rail, this doesn't seem to go one day at a time, but instead jumps several weeks in one go. It moved yesterday to just short of the date I want. Does anyone know how long I'll be waiting until they move it again?
  • Regarding reservations, it says "Yes. Reservations are compulsory on Stena Line and Irish Ferries services and on all Advance train journeys. A place will be booked on the ferry for you at time of purchase. Failure to obtain a reservation may result in you not being allowed to board the vessel." This is a bit confusing to me. Is booking the ticket online enough to have the reservation or is there another step?
  • If I choose to pick up the tickets from the vending machine in Cardiff Central Station, do I just get a single rail-like ticket that specifies Cardiff to Rosslare via Fishguard? Is that enough to present myself for check-in on the boat?
comcor is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-01-2015, 20:51   #215
Traincustomer
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seat 99
Posts: 538
Default

1. I know what you mean but never really thought about it. From time to time I have seen notices on the ATW website along the lines of Advance tickets until xx (date) now on sale. (The current note on the website is “Advance tickets now available up until 3 April 2015”).

These notices seem to appear every now and again. I have reviewed e-mails updates I receive but can’t determine the pattern – sometimes it seems there’s a month between them – other times a week or just days. Possibly the best way to get a definitive answer is an e-mail to ATW’s Customer Services or, if possible, a message on Twitter.

2. Booking the ticket online is enough to have the reservation. When the tickets are collected the machine prints off a number of coupons one of which is the mandatory reservation coupon for the ferry which will specify Fishguard to Rosslare and the sailing date & time of the ferry.

3. That’s it. When I travelled this route towards the end of last year on an advance single and collected my tickets from the machine it generated three “coupons”: (i) a seat reservation for the train as far as Swansea; (ii)the reservation coupon for the ferry described above; (iii) the ticket per se specifying the name of the starting station and the destination (i.e. Rosslare Hr) route Fishguard Stena.

Show the Cardiff – Rosslare Hr ticket and ferry reservation coupon to check-in personnel at Fishguard. Usually they take the ticket per se and issue the ferry boarding card in its place.

The ticket & reservation coupons are printed on standard rail ticket stock.

A difference in Wales/England/Scotland is that when collecting tickets the card used to purchase the tickets must be inserted into the ticket machine. Personally I don’t like this and prefer Iarnród Éireann’s ticket collection procedure.

That's my understanding of it all anyway.
Traincustomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-01-2015, 20:59   #216
Traincustomer
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seat 99
Posts: 538
Default Minor sailing time changes Rosslare-Fishguard Stena Line

Essentially immaterial from a SailRail perspective but in recent weeks the sailing times of the night crossings have changed slightly to:

21.15 ex Rosslare arriving Fishguard 00.30 (previously 21.00)
02.30 ex Fishguard arriving Rosslare 06.30 (previously 02.45 arr 06.15)
Traincustomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-01-2015, 23:08   #217
comcor
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cork-Dublin, Cork Commuter and occasionally DART and Dublin-Wexford
Posts: 783
Default

Thanks for that.

The tickets have gone on sale now, so booked

That change in the overnight ferry, makes the connection to the 370 bus that replaced the South Wexford rail line a bit tight, but I'd hope Bus Eireann will look at that. Only problem is that it acts as a commuter service into Waterford too, so there's limited scope for making it later. I'm not sure how many use it to get from Rosslare to destinations before New Ross anyway.
comcor is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-01-2015, 09:15   #218
berneyarms
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 542
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by comcor View Post
Thanks for that.

The tickets have gone on sale now, so booked

That change in the overnight ferry, makes the connection to the 370 bus that replaced the South Wexford rail line a bit tight, but I'd hope Bus Eireann will look at that. Only problem is that it acts as a commuter service into Waterford too, so there's limited scope for making it later. I'm not sure how many use it to get from Rosslare to destinations before New Ross anyway.
I'd say probably none.

The 370 service is purely a commuter service into Waterford. Any notion that it is a connection from the ferry, or that there are foot passengers for remote parts of South Wexford is pie in the sky, being blunt about it. Any foot passengers can however still use the 07:00 route 40 service to Waterford with connections to Cork and Limerick.
berneyarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-01-2015, 16:05   #219
Traincustomer
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seat 99
Posts: 538
Default

No bother Comcor.

Quote:
The 370 service is purely a commuter service into Waterford.
With respect is there a NTA or BÉ document or publication that specifically states that limitation?

Surely the role of all bus and rail services (especially subsidised routes) is to tick as many boxes as reasonably possible in terms of the journey opportunities provided, connectivity and integration. Would fully agree though that the 370, like many routes around the country, is primarily a commuter service.

At the port early one morning I did notice a fellow passenger from the Fishguard ferry boarding the 370 and one evening I was one of five passengers who used the 370 to travel to the port for the ferry (for the record I didn’t know any of the others).

Quote:
Any foot passengers can however still use the 07:00 route 40 service to Waterford with connections to Cork and Limerick
As the various journey planners substantiate there’s no connection to Limerick (the Limerick service departs at 08.40; the 07.00 route 40 ex Rosslare gets into Waterford Bus Stn at 08.45 whereas the 370 arrives in at 08.30). Waiting approximately two hours for the next bus is just a replication of the sort of the user-unfriendly unintegrated service that existed when the rail service ran where passengers heading to/from any station west had long waits in Waterford.

Incidentally the commercial route 40 fares are significantly more expensive than the 370 fare, the latter originally being identical to the train fare.

All the villages in South Wexford are proper villages with a core area and residential areas.
Traincustomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-01-2015, 19:54   #220
berneyarms
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 542
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traincustomer View Post
No bother Comcor.


With respect is there a NTA or BÉ document or publication that specifically states that limitation?

Surely the role of all bus and rail services (especially subsidised routes) is to tick as many boxes as reasonably possible in terms of the journey opportunities provided, connectivity and integration. Would fully agree though that the 370, like many routes around the country, is primarily a commuter service.

At the port early one morning I did notice a fellow passenger from the Fishguard ferry boarding the 370 and one evening I was one of five passengers who used the 370 to travel to the port for the ferry (for the record I didn’t know any of the others).



As the various journey planners substantiate there’s no connection to Limerick (the Limerick service departs at 08.40; the 07.00 route 40 ex Rosslare gets into Waterford Bus Stn at 08.45 whereas the 370 arrives in at 08.30). Waiting approximately two hours for the next bus is just a replication of the sort of the user-unfriendly unintegrated service that existed when the rail service ran where passengers heading to/from any station west had long waits in Waterford.

Incidentally the commercial route 40 fares are significantly more expensive than the 370 fare, the latter originally being identical to the train fare.

All the villages in South Wexford are proper villages with a core area and residential areas.
I am not sure that the people using the 370 to commute into Waterford, the vast majority of users, would share your view.

I don't think that they'd appreciate the bus being retimed later by 15 minutes, do you?

It's one thing having all these wonderful theories, but you don't mess with people's commute by making morning services arrive later than they currently do - that's a big no no.

Maybe Stena should re-examine their schedules?
berneyarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 00:07.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.