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Unread 17-04-2016, 17:33   #1
Jamie2k9
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Default Sligo Line Real Time Info

IE's real time is now covering all services beyond Maynooth, unusually like all other routes it even picks up departure/arrival in Slgo.

All stations are covered apart from Collooney due to signal locations.

Now it's just both directions Athlone-Westport/Ballina, Mallow-Tralee and Heuston departures to Waterford south of Athy, strangely departures ex Waterford are picked up but not the other way.

Should be useful to commuters.
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Unread 19-04-2016, 07:34   #2
James Howard
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That is very helpful indeed. Seems to be accurate at Edgeworthstown but we'll need to see what is happens the next time there is a serious delay.

Maybe I should look at writing an alarm clock app that uses their API feed to trigger when the train is an hour away.
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Unread 25-04-2016, 09:25   #3
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All Irish Rail realtime info seems to be broken today through the TFI realtime app. Seems a bit odd as the API still seems to be up.
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Unread 01-09-2016, 08:21   #4
James Howard
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Default Timetable Slack

This morning's 0545 was quite late leaving Sligo so provided quite an interesting opportunity to see quite how much slack was in the timetable. Thanks to Irish Rail's excellent webservice, it's quite easy to check how A901 got on.

http://api.irishrail.ie/realtime/rea...inMovementsXML

Here are the highlights

Left Sligo 0608 - 23 minutes late
Left Edgeworthstown 0720 - 13 minutes late
Left Enfield 0809 - 18 minutes late - stuck behind relief (about 10 minutes wait)
Arrived Connolly 0853 - 6 minutes late

I couldn't be accurate about the extra delay incurred at Enfield while we were stuck behind the relief train but I'd say it was of the order of 10 minutes making for a total of 33 minutes delays to the service. Yet it managed to recover all but 6 minutes of the delay on a service at the busiest time of that day that has no crossings to make.

Yet, they feel the need to add yet another 10 minutes to the running time of this service in the abandoned timetable.
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Unread 01-09-2016, 12:04   #5
Inniskeen
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Almost all Irish Rail services are timed this way. They are are happy to waste your time everday so that they don't get a hit on their punctuality statistics. It also makes scheduling easier as they make no attempt to provide a clear path in from Maynooth and are content to schedule everything on the least effort, lowest common denominator principle.
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Unread 01-09-2016, 17:20   #6
berneyarms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Howard View Post
This morning's 0545 was quite late leaving Sligo so provided quite an interesting opportunity to see quite how much slack was in the timetable. Thanks to Irish Rail's excellent webservice, it's quite easy to check how A901 got on.

http://api.irishrail.ie/realtime/rea...inMovementsXML

Here are the highlights

Left Sligo 0608 - 23 minutes late
Left Edgeworthstown 0720 - 13 minutes late
Left Enfield 0809 - 18 minutes late - stuck behind relief (about 10 minutes wait)
Arrived Connolly 0853 - 6 minutes late

I couldn't be accurate about the extra delay incurred at Enfield while we were stuck behind the relief train but I'd say it was of the order of 10 minutes making for a total of 33 minutes delays to the service. Yet it managed to recover all but 6 minutes of the delay on a service at the busiest time of that day that has no crossings to make.

Yet, they feel the need to add yet another 10 minutes to the running time of this service in the abandoned timetable.
Let's not get completely carried away here.

Looking at other trains, it's clear that the 08:18 from Maynooth was held until 08:26, to allow the Sligo a clear run.

The only trains ahead of it would have been the 07:55 from Maynooth and 08:10 from M3 Parkway, so the Sligo could have operated at full line speed for most of the route from Maynooth inbound, which I imagine it most certainly does not do typically?

Of course the timetable will have some recovery time built into it - there's a balance to be struck between offering a timetable that's the fastest possible and one that is achievable and can be delivered reliably.

It's possible that actual dwell times were reduced over the schedule as well to make up time.
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Unread 01-09-2016, 18:07   #7
James Howard
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Dwell times were particularly short allright - I'd say he spent less than a minute in each station. We got a relatively clear run in from Maynooth but nothing spectacular.

I agree that there is a balance to be struck between speed and reliability but being able to recover 17 minutes between Edgeworthstown and Connolly is perhaps pushing it a tad away from the speed side of the balance.

Is it getting carried away to suggest that adding another 10 minutes to allow 27 minutes' recovery time on a 70 mile journey is a little unreasonable?
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Unread 01-09-2016, 18:59   #8
Inniskeen
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Interestingly the 0818 from Maynooth was little more than two minutes late into Connolly and one minute late into Pearse.

Clearly scope to cut out at least some of the wasted time that has accummulated in the timetable with each successive iteration.
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Unread 01-09-2016, 19:23   #9
berneyarms
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Dwell times were particularly short allright - I'd say he spent less than a minute in each station. We got a relatively clear run in from Maynooth but nothing spectacular.

I agree that there is a balance to be struck between speed and reliability but being able to recover 17 minutes between Edgeworthstown and Connolly is perhaps pushing it a tad away from the speed side of the balance.

Is it getting carried away to suggest that adding another 10 minutes to allow 27 minutes' recovery time on a 70 mile journey is a little unreasonable?
But it's not 27 minutes recovery time - that train normally has to follow the 07:55 from Maynooth and is just ahead of the 08:10 from M3 Parkway at Clonsilla. That means that the running time between Maynooth and Connolly is extended regardless to be able to fit into the suburban timetable. That's different to recovery time.

This morning your train got a clear run between Maynooth and Connolly in terms of other traffic - this meant that it was considerably quicker than usual.

Similarly there will always be engineering allowances along the entire route to permit temporary speed restrictions to be put in place when engineers require them, without impacting on the overall schedule. That's not the same as adding recovery time for the sake of it.

Sure there certainly is recovery time that is there to allow for a degree of resilience and reliability in terms of arrival time in Connolly, but it does not amount to 27 minutes.

As for the proposed timetable, I would share your frustration at the original draft timetable, but we haven't seen the final proposed timetable post-consultation which may have managed to address that issue.
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Unread 01-09-2016, 19:56   #10
Jamie2k9
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Making up 15 or the 23 minute delay by Mullingar is not normal especially as lot of train recovery from delays is from altered crossing patterns so a 3-6 minute schedule wait would be eliminated but the 05.45 has no crossings. Yes there is a few minutes for TSR's however that's at the end of journey. Some station stops may of been slightly faster but there is no way a train should be making up such time.

You might expect 5-6 minutes made up at most.

If IE produced this type schedule for direct Limerick/Galway services at Heuston myself and others would only be delighted.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 01-09-2016 at 20:02.
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Unread 02-09-2016, 07:28   #11
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Recovery time and engineering allowance is spread all along the journey these days rather than just at the end.
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Unread 02-09-2016, 08:01   #12
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This morning your train got a clear run between Maynooth and Connolly in terms of other traffic - this meant that it was considerably quicker than usual.
Maynooth to Connolly might have been quicker than usual but 30 minutes for about 17 miles is hardly fast. The actual allowance is almost sufficient to stop at all stations as well demonstrated by the very busy 0818 service yesterday.

The scheduling of longer distance trains in the Dublin area is such that the train is generally less competitive than alternative modes which are routinely quicker, cheaper and less crowded, hence patronage has declined to the point where a lot of services are barely relevant.
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Unread 02-09-2016, 08:27   #13
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Maynooth to Connolly might have been quicker than usual but 30 minutes for about 17 miles is hardly fast. The actual allowance is almost sufficient to stop at all stations as well demonstrated by the very busy 0818 service yesterday.

The scheduling of longer distance trains in the Dublin area is such that the train is generally less competitive than alternative modes which are routinely quicker, cheaper and less crowded, hence patronage has declined to the point where a lot of services are barely relevant.
Again there is a balance to be struck here - the need to maintain a relatively intense commuter service from Maynooth & M3 Parkway and to fit the Intercity service in, all on a two track railway.

What you seem to want would need extra track and I can't see where you'd possibly fit that in on the Maynooth line. It's all well and good saying journey times on longer distance services have extended on the Connolly side, but so has the number of local commuter/DART services to try and meet the needs of Dublin residents, and trying to fit both on a two track railway and still please everyone is the art of the impossible in my view.
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Unread 02-09-2016, 10:30   #14
Jamie2k9
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Recovery time and engineering allowance is spread all along the journey these days rather than just at the end.
Unless there is a repeated area with regular TSR's or permanent TSR they are not. Distance between stations is based on average times throughout the year and may leave an extra 30 to 60 seconds as drivers will in many cases not always be the same.

Now it could be different for Connolly but at Heuston it's the end (data on TSR times will back it up) but the fact is the train should not of been able to make up such a delay before the Maynooth padding is factored in.

Then IE have the nerve to add a further 5 minutes based on the draft timetable they plan to implement.

On a recent GAA special the services was timed for 2h15m, a few weeks lather the same service is timed for 2h because the first week was able to make up a 15 minute delay and both weeks they had a clear run. On another service it arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

I fully accept a reasonable degree of recovery but this takes it to far.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 02-09-2016 at 10:38.
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Unread 02-09-2016, 15:57   #15
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I know that I am drifting off topic slightly by referring to the Heuston side of Irish Rail. I find that there is not nearly so much padding on trains to/from Heuston, especially Intercity services, following accelerations in timings a couple of years ago. On Dublin-Cork trains, services operated by Mark4s have virtually no time to spare: the 22ks being much faster to accelerate can however recover some time.

Is there a different management philosophy on the Heuston side, or is it that the infrastructure on the lines out of Connolly has (by comparison) been hopelessly neglected?
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Unread 02-09-2016, 17:58   #16
James Howard
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I'd say the main reason is the quality of the infrastructure. The stretch of four-tracking keeps the intercity trains out of conflict with local trains. The DART is the main reason why Belfast and Rosslare are so slow.

On the single Sligo there is a very long stretch between crossings at Maynooth and Killucan which means that they need to leave a huge amount of padding since they can't easily change the crossing point if a train is running late. Enfield has a crossing but it's not a lot of use since there is only one platform. Adding a usable crossing between Maynooth and Killucan would make a huge difference in terms of knock-on delays from crossing and would allow for tighter timings. Of course this isn't cheap but they could probably eliminate the Enfield crossing or achieve the same effect by fixing up the second platform at Enfield.
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Unread 02-09-2016, 18:17   #17
Jamie2k9
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3-5 minutes lee way on Heuston services (average) and another benefit is for example IE will give priority to Intercity over Portlaoise commuter. They would happy hold it for 10-15 minutes if Intercity services were delayed to allow them a clear run or as minimal stopping to made up time.

DART rules Connolly, followed by Commuter, followed by Intercity.

Did they not apply for planning for a second Enfield platform in the last 2 years or so.

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Unread 03-09-2016, 07:11   #18
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They have planning for a new footbridge from 2012 but that expires in March next year.

http://www.eplanning.ie/MeathCC/AppF...ils/TA111171/0
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Unread 03-09-2016, 15:28   #19
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Refurbishing and/or extending the unused platform at Enfield, plus installing a footbridge (even with lifts) is hardly a big item of capital expenditure, even in recent straitened times. Speaks volumes about lack of any proper sense of priorities when it comes to investment.

I am sure that there are other bottlenecks which would cost relatively little to ease, and where the benefits might be considerable. Maddening when you look at the money spent on pretty useless trackwork at Clongriffin.
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Unread 06-09-2016, 00:16   #20
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Originally Posted by berneyarms View Post
Again there is a balance to be struck here - the need to maintain a relatively intense commuter service from Maynooth & M3 Parkway and to fit the Intercity service in, all on a two track railway.

What you seem to want would need extra track and I can't see where you'd possibly fit that in on the Maynooth line. It's all well and good saying journey times on longer distance services have extended on the Connolly side, but so has the number of local commuter/DART services to try and meet the needs of Dublin residents, and trying to fit both on a two track railway and still please everyone is the art of the impossible in my view.
Yes, of course there has to be a balance and a good case can be made for affording some priority to slower moving commuter trains on constrained infrastructure at peak periods. Nonetheless in many instances Irish Rail seem to have a slowest train first policy almost for the sake of it and seem to think that customers don't care about journey time. This approach is likely to prove unsustainable and means that the rail corridors around Dublin will never achieve their potential due to the indifferent quality of the service delivered.

Incidentally DART frequency has increased little since the service was introduced, the trains have just gotten slower and slower creating ever more congestion and degraded scheduling. The extension of DART to Malahide has been a disaster operationally as the layout at Malahide is totally unsuitable for the service pattern while the Bray/Greystones line is not capable of reliably supporting the half hourly service.

There is little case to be made for the proposed ten minute interval DART service at off peak periods given the significant further downgrading of other services, the relatively modest levels of demand and the ease with which additional capacity can be added by increasing train sizes.

On the Maynooth line, it should be very easy to separate Sligo trains
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