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Unread 12-01-2008, 12:33   #41
philip
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Bus eireann buses were not stopping in balbriggan,as They were all full from talking to ppl at the bus,One extra bus had gone through in the space of an hour. I've gone home and given up on the day. have they heard of contingency plans?
You need to have a plan in the first place to then have a contingency plan. IE and the rest of this country has neither.

EVERYTHING just 'happens'. Nothing is planned.
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Unread 12-01-2008, 13:36   #42
Mark Gleeson
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Last night be all accounts was a total mess

What went wrong was IE failed to implement effective pilot working.

Firstly it was clear that it would have been prudent to kill one or two services, e.g. 17:07 and 18:40 ex Connolly to free some space

Secondly given the track layout in Balbriggan and single line working. IE should have operated several trains into Dublin in the afternoon and then suspend everything Dublin bound south of Ballbriggan for the evening rush. That would have allowed northbound to operate on normal signaling and therefore much faster, they persisted in trying to get Enterprise through causing the chaos

Translink are exceptionally decent to deal with. They have an excellent attitude and really seem to care. These guys know how to plan, had 25 odd years of security alerts and so on, so they well practiced and effective in crisis

Everyone last night is entitled to a full refund, fill in the form http://www.irishrail.ie/images/pdfs/...unt%20Form.pdf
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Unread 12-01-2008, 13:40   #43
chris
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I took this train on the basis that IR said northbound trains were running normally during rush hour -I had presumed short delays - but this was stupid!
It was exactly the same with me, but you notice how they were crafty enough to say that most trains would run, but declined to say anything about how long it would take.

If only we had Drogheda via Navan as an alternative when stuff gets this messed up. Even NIR maintains a line via Antrim and Knockmore to emergency diversionary standards so trains can avoid anything bad that happens Belfast-Lisburn.
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Unread 12-01-2008, 16:53   #44
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Following my origional post, i found out more about it and had to get a lift all the way into dublin. It took over an hour and a half to get from drogheda to bus arás.

When i finally got in i saw an empty commuter train sitting on the ring route bridge waiting to get into connolly, it looked like it must be for drogheda not maynooth as not a soul was on it? We're they running the limited commuters they had to malahide? And why not to rush and lusk? Or was it a maynooth train? This was around 825 or so.

I also avoided coming home via train, and was surprised how Bus Arás was no busier on the outside than normal, where was the fraction of the 7,000 + people who couldnt get in, let alone get out easily?


IE are the Dumbest company ever, also when in panic yesterday morning McBride station in drogheda was unreachable and The Gaurda station was not informed! With 7,000 + commuters missplaced i think the gaurds should be informed, what a mess!
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Unread 12-01-2008, 23:29   #45
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Looking at todays evening herald the train where it is, The track cross over seems to me to have something to do with it.

Last edited by KSW : 12-01-2008 at 23:31.
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Unread 13-01-2008, 00:03   #46
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I'm just back from Prague (where I enjoyed their excellent tram and metro system), and was off on Friday, so I missed the whole thing.

It seems to me that the whole affair has been very badly managed. Here are some questions that I think deserve answers...

1. The incident happened around 23:00 on Thursday. That gives around 7 hours before the Friday commuter period. What was done in this time?

2. What effort was made to clear the line in these 7 hours? It seems to me that everyone just went to bed and the engineers didn't arrive until Friday morning. If everything possible had been done overnight, could one line have been open in time for the morning rush?

3. What effort was made to arrange alternative transport, and when did these efforts begin? There must be a lot of buses available around the country, even allowing for school runs, etc. If a concerted effort had been made as soon as it had been known the train service would be severely affected, calling emergency contact numbers for bus operators around the island (north and south), a sizeable bus fleet could have assembled.

4. Why were IE tickets not accepted on bus routes running parallel to the affected rail services? Passengers may be able to claim refunds on their season tickets, but how about allowing them to claim the cost of their alternative travel?

5. What effort was made to inform passengers of the situation? Garda stations should certainly have been informed. Radio stations obviously had some information, but was it enough for people to know what was going on? Was there an information line people could call? Was there information about alternatives available?

6. Trains could almost certainly have been run between Drogheda and Balbriggan, possibly Skerries. Why wasn't this done?

7. There were at least two railcar sets south of Skerries overnight. Why weren't these used to run a limited service between Rush and Lusk and Pearse?

8. Why was Friday evening a complete mess, with journeys that normally take an hour taking 3-4 hours? For many people this was worse than the morning disruption.

9. Why was information about which services would run on Friday evening so sketchy? Why not publish a list of which trains would be running, and if delays to the journey time were expected, how long those delays might be? Was there a plan, or were they just playing it by ear?

10. Is it acceptable tat when there's a problem, commuters are asked to "make alternative arrangements?" They are in effect saying "we can't be bothered, so screw you, you're on your own." Should IE not have standing contingency plans in place for a range of scenarios such as this?

11. What training do IE staff and managers receive for situations such as this? Shouldn't they have regular simulations and exercises to prepare them for dealing with unexpected situations. Why does everything seem to fall apart when there's the slightest problem?

12. What steps will be taken to ensure that this cannot happen again? More importantly, what steps are being taken to ensure that next time an unexpected situation arises, it's dealt with in a more considerate (to the customer) manner.

13. Finally (until I think of something else), an investigation is taking place into this incident. Will the findings of this investigation be made public?
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Unread 13-01-2008, 00:51   #47
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Looking at todays evening herald the train where it is, The track cross over seems to me to have something to do with it.
Is this picture of the train crash available online? If so can someone post it?

Why is it that there hasnt been a picture of it all over the news?
More than 7,000 people missplaced and services disrupted and no one sends a helicopter out to take pictures? Anywhere else in the world, and especially Britain they would. Hell isnt there that myth that the helicopter ownership in ireland is now at the same level as car ownership in the 40's?
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Unread 13-01-2008, 01:01   #48
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We( me and mrs.) had dealings with 3 different Ie people last night. I rang Connolly to find out what was going on. the woman on the phone had some canned speel but didn't know the 19:15 was cancelled, despite her list of "these trains were cancelled." this was at 21:20. She was polite and eventually admitted there was a lot of confusion and she also admitted the press release on Irish rail's website wasn't the clearest.....

I went to Malahide to collect my wife who was about a km south of malahide on a train that left Pearse after half past eight, after arriving there just after seven
The ticket guy there was also sheepish and polite and readily admitted that he didn't have a clue what was going on, that the clowns running the circus didn't know what was going on, and that the fact these clowns were lying to him and he was telling us what they said was making him look like an awful eejit.
He also showed me that there was NO train at all on the single line section for almost an hour on the screen in the ticket office.
He was also polite, in a genuine way that most Irish rail employees just don't appear to bring to work.

but the nicest guy of the night was the driver of the train my wife was on who kept everyone informed of any news he got, had the door to the cab open to go out to tell passengers the story from the horses mouth and also let an upset and heavily pregnant woman into the cab to let her get fresh air from the open window.

We're fairly quick to criticise the poor staff in Irish rail so when all three staff you deal with on one night are polite and friendly, it should be noted.
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Unread 13-01-2008, 09:10   #49
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We're fairly quick to criticise the poor staff in Irish rail so when all three staff you deal with on one night are polite and friendly, it should be noted.
I agree. However, there seems to be, and always has been IMO, huge issues with the management of customer service types issues within Irish Rail. I would be first to blame the drivers and station staff for leaving us without information during service delays.
However, I have a feeling the real issue might be within CTC, who simply tell no one what is happening. I complained a few years ago to the Northern Suburban line office about why CTC refuse to make any platform announcements. My complaint was noted. Nothing changed. No one in CTC seems to care, and Irish Rail senior management have absolutely no interest in dealing with this basic issue. If they did care, they would have sorted it by now. Rant over!
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Unread 13-01-2008, 11:10   #50
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The cause of the derailment was a broken axle, which broke about 300m before the set of points, points just diverted the train more off the track

Most staff are quite decent, there are all the same a high number of bad apples in Irish Rail. The chaos on Friday was mainly as a result of poor management

IE really don't have any class of plan for these situation, no notice up in Pearse on Saturday about the situation for instance. Crew in Skerries, being old school have a rather worn blackboard which they can quickly place a notice. London Underground have equipped every station with a white board and markers, ultra low tech but very very effective

The Rail Incident Investigation Unit will certainly be doing an investigation. Looking at the situation it doesn't look like the Northbound track was actually physically blocked at any stage, the whole site was probably closed pending the Rail Incident Investigation Unit crew visiting and documenting the situation. IE then ran a test train through which fitted with only a few inches (instead of the usual foot plus gap). IE had nothing on site to move a 75 ton wagon

Would a train going the opposite direction have struck the derailed train? doubtful.

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 13-01-2008 at 11:28.
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Unread 13-01-2008, 11:47   #51
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Most staff are quite decent, there are all the same a high number of bad apples in Irish Rail. The chaos on Friday was mainly as a result of poor management
Agreed. If the staff have no information about the problem, there's not a lot they can do to help. The cause of the problem may have been out of IE's control, but IE seem to have washed their hands and abandoned the situation to resolve itself, which it obviously wasn't going to do.

Quote:
IE really don't have any class of plan for these situation, no notice up in Pearse on Saturday about the situation for instance. Crew in Skerries, being old school have a rather worn blackboard which they can quickly place a notice. London Underground have equipped every station with a white board and markers, ultra low tech but very very effective
They obviously can't have a plan for every situation that can arise, but IE management and staff should be trained in how to deal with crisis situations in general. It's a simple case of sitting down and looking at the options and making the best out of the situation. An hour a month where they sit around the table and someone presents a scenario and everyone works through the options would do wonders.

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The Rail Incident Investigation Unit will certainly be doing an investigation. Looking at the situation it doesn't look like the Northbound track was actually physically blocked at any stage, the whole site was probably closed pending the Rail Incident Investigation Unit crew visiting and documenting the situation. IE then ran a test train through which fitted with only a few inches (instead of the usual foot plus gap). IE had nothing on site to move a 75 ton wagon
Okay, I can see that they don't want to move anything until the RIIU have had a look, but when were they notified? It is vital these people can be on call 24/7 so that a decision can be made at the earliest possible point as to whether the line can be reopened. So a few people lose a few hours sleep. It's better than abandoning 7000 commuters.

Also, could the crane have been mobilised on Thursday night instead of Friday night? Could the crane operators have been woken and told, "okay, we want you guys suited and ready in case we can shift stuff tonight," and be on standby so that they could move in if the safety guys gave the okay?

Obviously we're not advocating that IE do anything that would be unsafe. However they seem to have abandoned the situation without even assessing it fully.

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Would a train going the opposite direction have struck the derailed train? doubtful.
Obviously you want to make sure that the answer is "certainly not" rather than doubtful, but the evidence seems to suggest that nothing had been moved when trains ran on Friday afternoon, so it should have been possible to run them on Friday morning if the situation had been properly assessed by then.
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Unread 13-01-2008, 13:37   #52
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I also avoided coming home via train, and was surprised how Bus Arás was no busier on the outside than normal, where was the fraction of the 7,000 + people who couldnt get in, let alone get out easily?
Traffic was nuts on Dorset st. going north on Fri evening around 7, nothing was moving anywhere quickly at all.
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Unread 13-01-2008, 15:09   #53
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The Rail Incident Investigation Unit is part of the RSC and are on call 24 hours day

They should have got a call within an hour of the incident taking place, obviously it depends where the duty inspector is relative to the site before they get there. You cant do much in the pitch black dark. Everything must be recorded

IE staff re-railed the train without recourse to a crane

The photos from about 11am on Fri show the northbound track clear and undamaged

Its much easier operate north rather than south, so if you think things where bad Friday evening if they had tried that on Friday morning it would have been worse and you could walk faster
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Unread 13-01-2008, 21:10   #54
Colm Donoghue
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Exclamation trains are back ( allegedly)

Travel Alerts

NORTHERN LINE & BELFAST LINE: FULL SERVICE TO OPERATE MONDAY 14TH JANUARY by Corporate Communications

Update: Sunday 13th January 2008 - 19.45hrs

Iarnród Éireann advises customers that full services will operate on the Northern line commuter service and on the Dublin-Belfast service on Monday 14th January, following disruption caused by Thursday evening's derailment of a freight train near Skerries.

All scheduled services will operate, although slight delays (estimated 5 minutes) may result, as there is a 25mph speed restriction in the immediate vicinity of the area of the derailment.

Dublin-Drogheda/Dundalk commuter services remain suspended this evening (Sunday 13th January).
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Unread 13-01-2008, 21:17   #55
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Could a dedicated shuttle not have run R&L to Malahide on friday morning and
from Skerries or Balbriggan to Malahide on friday night, with a shuttle running wrong way from malahide to R&L?

Or even get a double decker bus to take the 90 or so people on the enterprise from balbriggan to Dublin and let the 3 trains stuck south of malahide go.

Who owns the wagons? the zinc miners or Irish Rail?

Why were there no services from Dundalk to Balbriggan over the weekend?
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Unread 13-01-2008, 21:25   #56
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So still no trains but the line is open? Talk about being lazy

Boys up north now reporting Enterprise is running as normal, so its 19:00 Belfast Dublin will run to Dublin

A full service could have been provided Dundalk - Balbriggan over the weekend, it was not

Signaling arrangements make Malahide Rush and Lusk very difficult, that said on Friday IE had plenty of time to position a train in Rush for the morning. Just one train would have saved a huge amount of pain

Tara Mines own the wagons, though they are operated and maintained by Irish Rail

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 13-01-2008 at 21:28.
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Unread 14-01-2008, 08:23   #57
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6:04 Train didn't leave Drogheda until after 6:15 today.

However, I got the 6:30 train which ran fine, reached balbriggan in a record 15 mins, and was at connolly for the usual time of 7:30. Slight slowdown after skerries but nothing close to Friday's speeds.
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Unread 14-01-2008, 08:34   #58
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not related I suppose but the enterprise is stopped between Dunleer and Drogheda... An announcement just made stated that there was a problem with the engine!! We've been stopped here 8 minutes so far!
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Unread 14-01-2008, 11:38   #59
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A 12 mile single section? Where's that - from Drogheda to Dunleer?
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Unread 14-01-2008, 11:45   #60
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Single line section was from the Quarry Malahide to Ballbriggan, about 13 miles. The freight train derailed at a set of points which resulted in the single line working being over several miles more than you would expect

All Malahide DART services where terminated at Howth Junction as a result. Had IE suspended all southbound services normal service could have been provided northbound on Friday evening with slight delays
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