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Unread 29-08-2011, 11:50   #1
EnterpriseUser
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Default Enterprise service

I travelled to Dublin yesterday on the 1000 Enterprise. The train was packed even in First where I was with my three children. The service was exemplary as I think this is now the sole service in these islands that offers hot cooked food at the weekend. I was very impressed with all the staff who coped extraordinarily well with their customers. The train manager ran the service very well and ensured all who had reserved seats got them and those who did not paid the upgrade fare. The cabin steward had worked the night before when First was packed on both the 1900 and 2050 services due to the rugby match. One wishes the Enterprise was faster; the aspiration in the 70s was 90 minutes non-stop. For me the fastest was 105 minutes on the 1800 non-stop service in the 80s although the booked time was 115 minutes the road ahead was clear and the 075 engine class demonstrated it's pedigree. Sadly such feats are frowned on as the tracks are busier and 'elf and safety rules all! Nonetheless the Enterprise is the best service going in these islands!
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Unread 29-08-2011, 13:15   #2
Mark Gleeson
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I fail to see the need to claim that Enterprise is somehow a wonderful service

It is the least reliable and least punctual line anywhere on this island and is a disgrace of a cross border service. The interior is consistently dirty announcements inaudible in the last carriage and customer service is ridiculously inconsistent. It is currently under investigation for multiple breeches of EU passenger rights regulations.

It doesn't look great to the outsider, especially when I had the production team of a UK TV show in tow recently. Much of the problem is down to the fact its a joint operation and no one seems willing to take the leap to improve matters.

Try booking a standard class seat from Belfast, you can't, you could in 1947 you can't today
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Unread 29-08-2011, 14:38   #3
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Mark: that's not my experience with the Enterprise and I use it every second week. We know the limitations but for my money it is consistently more reliable than any other IE service.
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Unread 18-10-2011, 23:45   #4
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I may be a bit late to this one, but I have to jump in here. I used to be a daily Enterprise commuter for 4 years and am now a Drogheda/ Balbriggan line communter. I absolutely agree with everything Mark said. While I was travelling on the Enterprise there wasn't a week that went by without some sort of delay, security alerts and otherwise, and at least once every three weeks there was a significant delay. Rarely was any information given to passengers. While it has improved in some ways - gone is the long winding boarding queue at Connolly and the makeshift hut at Newry - the last time I was on it I very nearly missed an important meeting due to a delay and the upholstery was so worn I would feel the metal underneath.

While the Drogheda line is far from perfect itself I have experienced nowhere near the same amount of delays since I have been using it. Although something could be done about the overcrowding, especially during rush hour - the 17.29 (now 17.35?) ex Connolly in particular.
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Unread 31-10-2011, 04:12   #5
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In a submission to the North South Ministerial Council in November 2007, JBC called on the two Governments to set out a development strategy aimed at securing much needed improvements in service performance on the enterprise cross-border rail service linking Dublin and Belfast.
An immediate problem that needs to be addressed is service reliability, a particular concern for business travellers. While the published figures on on-time performance indicate some improvement, far too often services are subject to long delays of up to and even exceeding an hour. These performance issues need to be addressed by the operators in the short-term if the service is to maintain the confidence of users.
In relation to the enterprise service generally, figures set out in the submission indicate modest growth in traffic levels with passenger numbers up by 2% in 2006.
However, the JBC submission points out that this is against the background of a long term trend of strong growth in cross border road traffic which has grown by 85% over a decade, corresponding to an annual average growth rate of over 6%. Taken together, the figures on rail patronage and road traffic lead to the conclusion that the number of cross border trips is growing strongly but that the rail share is being eroded.
JBC also point out that current journey times at 130 minutes are not competitive against journey times by road. If the enterprise service were to operate at the average speed currently achieved on other mainline services, journey time would be reduced by 15% to 110 mins. The introduction of non stop services would reduce journey times even further to around 100 minutes – a reduction of around one third on today’s performance.
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Unread 22-11-2011, 19:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayneM View Post
I may be a bit late to this one, but I have to jump in here. I used to be a daily Enterprise commuter for 4 years and am now a Drogheda/ Balbriggan line communter. I absolutely agree with everything Mark said. While I was travelling on the Enterprise there wasn't a week that went by without some sort of delay, security alerts and otherwise, and at least once every three weeks there was a significant delay. Rarely was any information given to passengers. While it has improved in some ways - gone is the long winding boarding queue at Connolly and the makeshift hut at Newry - the last time I was on it I very nearly missed an important meeting due to a delay and the upholstery was so worn I would feel the metal underneath.

While the Drogheda line is far from perfect itself I have experienced nowhere near the same amount of delays since I have been using it. Although something could be done about the overcrowding, especially during rush hour - the 17.29 (now 17.35?) ex Connolly in particular.
sounds like its a case of IR making sure the commuter runs true and allowing the enterprise to be second, even third behind these commuter trains sharing the same line and the DART.
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Unread 23-11-2011, 00:18   #7
Colm Moore
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JBC
What is this?
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Unread 12-04-2012, 14:05   #8
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Default Enterprise

Just completed a round trip on the Enterprise from Dublin to Belfast. I set out on Wednesday 13.20 and returned Thursday 10.35.

The train was jammed packed both ways even before it made it's first stop at Drogheda outbound Lisburn on the return. What is the need for two first class (plus) carriages when they are never filled? One would suffice with an extra carriage for standard fare pasengers, ended up standing much of the journey in the buffet car. The first class carriages were pretty much empty.

Seperately I must say, both of my journeys were on time and a smooth trip all round. However the three guards/inspectors on the train have a great time of it, they stood the whole journey in the buffet car chatting and laughing, I wasn't even asked for my ticket during the journey.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 14:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joey View Post
sounds like its a case of IR making sure the commuter runs true and allowing the enterprise to be second, even third behind these commuter trains sharing the same line and the DART.
Reply to an old post I know but we actually know from the IE network statement that the Enterprise officially does have lower priority.
Quote:
Priority Order on Congested Infrastructure
Dublin Border
1 DART
2 Commuter
3 Intercity (Enterprise)
4 Freight
5 Infrastructure
So you won't get held for a tamper or a Tara but that's about it, on paper at least.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 15:07   #10
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Reply to an old post I know but we actually know from the IE network statement that the Enterprise officially does have lower priority.So you won't get held for a tamper or a Tara but that's about it, on paper at least.
Hmmm, not great...
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Unread 12-04-2012, 15:10   #11
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great potential for NIR/IR to make serious money on the spin of the titianic new visitors centre in belfast, they need to use all carriages available, not leave them at york road in belfast sidings, enterprise is full all the time, period!
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Unread 12-04-2012, 15:27   #12
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yeah but one langerdan and his mates cause a security incident and the profits will drain away from bus hire charges.

I've said it for years - the Enterprise service should be removed from NIR *and* IE into a separate operation which could then enforce commercial contracts against them in respect of infrastructure availability. If only there had been even a tiny bit of imagination when HSBC Rail offered the Class 222s... but oh no, Cowen and Co were busy promising money for the A5 instead.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 15:36   #13
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it's a pity... great potential, both my journeys on the enterprise recently was full of tourists using it travelling north/south vice versa.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 18:17   #14
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it could do with a refurb mind you!

paid big bucks and can't even get a seat, they must over sell the seats, must do.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 18:51   #15
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I think the sets are about 15 years in service now, a refresh would probably be welcome, add power sockets, wifi and whatnot, finally finish the generating van project so Enterprise liveried 201s wouldn't be found "having a rest" down south and so on.

A refit would involve pulling the existing trains from service at least piecemeal but there's always the Gatwick set to step in which NIR *insist* are still part of the service fleet
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Unread 12-04-2012, 19:13   #16
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The Mark 4 and 22000 will have a full refurb after 15 years in service but the ICR will get new engines every 4 years. Most lightly NIR and IR couldn't agree on the cost of the full refurb.

On the topic of Wi-Fi IR have not said anything about it coming to entreprise.

There has being one generating van spayed in Entreprise colours sitting in Heuston with months.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 12-04-2012 at 19:25.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 19:13   #17
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finally finish the generating van project
That seems to be having marital problems - they're not talking to each other.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 21:17   #18
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A contract has been signed for wifi on Enterprise different supplier though compared to the main contract Irish Rail had. Can't name the company at this time though until a formal statement is issued.

Passenger numbers cross border are down, Enterprise is really a glorified commuter service which just happens to cross the border.

Seat reservations are available, a ticket is never a guarantee of a seat.

If you sit down and look at the numbers the bulk of the failures and delays are on the Northern Irish side.

It is without a question the worst cross border service I have travelled on.
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Unread 13-04-2012, 07:48   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
A contract has been signed for wifi on Enterprise different supplier though compared to the main contract Irish Rail had. Can't name the company at this time though until a formal statement is issued.

Seat reservations are available, a ticket is never a guarantee of a seat.

If you sit down and look at the numbers the bulk of the failures and delays are on the Northern Irish side.

It is without a question the worst cross border service I have travelled on.
wi-fi stop the clock.

seat reservation no guarantee of a seat not good enough, when spare carriages are sitting at york road and first plus is never full, one of the first plus carriages could be taken out of each set and replaced with std class ones, spares in york rd.

Service, a tad harsh, it is a decent service but needs tweeking, i.e. wi-fi, re-fit/replacement or carriages, maybe an overhaul, possibly let someone else come in and run it as a whole, instead of NIR & IR
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Unread 13-04-2012, 09:43   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
A contract has been signed for wifi on Enterprise different supplier though compared to the main contract Irish Rail had. Can't name the company at this time though until a formal statement is issued.

Passenger numbers cross border are down, Enterprise is really a glorified commuter service which just happens to cross the border.

Seat reservations are available, a ticket is never a guarantee of a seat.

If you sit down and look at the numbers the bulk of the failures and delays are on the Northern Irish side.

It is without a question the worst cross border service I have travelled on.
You say passenger numbers cross-border are down - hardly a surprise given the three month closure of the line at Malahide. Before that the largely gratuitous disruptions associated with the Tolka bridge renewal and the so called DART upgrade project severely depressed weekend business due to the tsunami of weekend line closures. Add to that the laughable management and scheduling of services between Drogheda and Dublin and I think Irish Rail might well be in the picture when it comes to accessing the performance of the Enterprise service.

As regards cross-border numbers my understanding is that there has been a modest recovery in usage unlike many other routes that are either gently or preciptively declining.

As regards being a glorified commuter service what do you imagine the Galway, Waterford, Rosslare, Limerick and Sligo services are ? Whar about the 0505 from Cork or the 1900 or 2100 services from Heuston. More glorified commuter services perhaps ?

Yes the Irish Rail mantra is that all the problems with the Enterprise are the fault of NIR - as a regular user this is not my experience. While there are issues with the coaching stock from time to time, the Enterprise sets are probably the most intensively used rolling stock in the country, one set making three return Belfast/Dublin trips each day. While the ride quality is often poor (especially south of the border) it is not generally inferior to the Mk4s on the Cork line. Ambience wise (somewhat subject on my part) the De-Dietrich coaches are way better than the Mk4s.

Irish Rail are, I understand, responsible for locomotive maintenace. Not sure of the ratio of coaching stock issues to locomotive/head end power failures, but suffice it to say that locomotive failures are orders of magnitude more common than when the service was powered by 071/111 class locomotives.

To be a bit more positive there has been a noticeable improvement in punctuality in recent months due to a number of factors including a large reduction in the number of slacks south of the border and some shift in the Irish Rail's slowest train first policy. The smaller sets now standard (seven coaches instead of eight) also improve matters in terms of performance and presumeably stress on the HEP. Downside is heavy overcrowding at times particularly on the 1520, 1650 and 1900 services from Dublin and 0650 and 1035 from Belfast on weekdays as well as the busier Sunday services.

Last edited by Inniskeen : 13-04-2012 at 10:01.
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