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Unread 22-01-2008, 18:37   #21
Mark Gleeson
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True but elsewhere we don't have people making 70-80 mile journeys each way

I have travelled peak hour RER Paris got a seat both ways, train empty

Travelled on a commuter train in Birmingham last year in the evening rush, got a seat, a choice of seats infact
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Unread 22-01-2008, 21:40   #22
Colm Donoghue
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I got on an RER in Paris one satuday evening- it was so packed I couldn't take my arms down after putting my bag up on the rack for 2 stops.
I have never seen anything approaching this level of crammed people on trains in Ireland. the only thing that comes close is the front of a rock gig.

In Tokyo they have people to push you in the doors at stations so the doors can close.

There's about 3 times the seating capacity as standing room on the commuter trains Irish Rail use - i.e. 48 seats and 144 standing room approx.

You could travel by coach, where you couldn't get on if there are no seats left...

Mick O Leary has to obey the law regarding a seat for each passenger. there is no law regarding passengers getting on a railway service. The official govt advice is
"If you feel a train is overcrowded when it arrives at the platform, you should not board." [1]

I presume you get a seat halfo of the way home and in to work most mornings?
A pregnant woman I know has stood 35 mins each way for the last 8 months, except for the 7 times someone has offered a seat.


[1]http://www.rsc.ie/index.cfm?fuseaction=page&pID=139
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Unread 23-01-2008, 09:38   #23
Ballymore
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If I lived in Dublin and had to stand a few stops I wouldnt give it a second thought and I've often got the Dart for instance and never ever complained about having to stand.

I suppose what galls me is that I pay over €2k per year and it's not occasionally but night after night of standing for half of a long commute is back breaking, spirit breaking even!

The problem is getting worse and IE's answer is 'let them stand'. Thats what I'm not happy about. Also one of the posters here who reckoned I should adopt the 'Irish mentality' of 'sure it could be worse isnt it better than having no train at all'. Thats the kind of attitude that has our public services in the state their in you know. People in power know there will always be poeple like him willing to put up with it as 'it could be worse'.

If we dont complain IE will think everybody is happy and change nothing.
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Unread 23-01-2008, 09:50   #24
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In answer to Colm yes I get a seat half way home and always get a seat on the way in as long as I get either of the 1st 2 morning trains from Mullingar. As a paying customer I expect a seat for the entire journey. I'm sure some will think thats unrealistic but I've always been an optimist!!

As for the pregnant lady, I'm sure it happens all the time but why doesnt she ask soemone to give up their seat. To be fair a pregnant woman could be standing beside me and I might not notice as I have my head in a book most of the time but if I did (or was asked by one) I'd offer my seat.
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Unread 23-01-2008, 09:56   #25
Mark Hennessy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm Donoghue View Post
In Tokyo they have people to push you in the doors at stations so the doors can close.
I've experienced the Tokyo situation first hand and while trains can get jammed (especially the last trains!) the chronic overcrowding only last brief periods , 7-10 mins.

My experience on the Maynooth line is that 20 mins of serious crowding from Tara to Ashtown is the norm and I can live that.

I would hate to spend 50 mins to an hour each day in those conditions though.
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Unread 23-01-2008, 10:13   #26
Ballymore
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I used to be a daily Tube user in London and at rush hour was crammed in and as it's only for 10 -15 mins you get used to it and you live with it but thats about the limit I would expect to stand - also bear in mind in most of those other places mentioned you dont pay exhorbitant prices like with IE.
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Unread 23-01-2008, 10:23   #27
Mark Hennessy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballymore View Post
I used to be a daily Tube user in London and at rush hour was crammed in and as it's only for 10 -15 mins you get used to it and you live with it but thats about the limit I would expect to stand - also bear in mind in most of those other places mentioned you dont pay exhorbitant prices like with IE.
In fairness you cant compare a city network like the tube to a long distance location like Mullingar when comparing prices.

In the UK, you pay a serious amount (probably twice that of your current ticket) for an annual ticket if commuting from 40-50 miles out from the city.
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Unread 23-01-2008, 10:28   #28
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In fairness yes I wasnt thinking of it in context of an annual ticket for an equally long commute so probably an unfair comparison re the prices.
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Unread 23-01-2008, 15:29   #29
James Shields
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I think we have to accept that standing during peak hours is the norm. The only way to avoid it would be to have hundreds of extra trains that stand idle except for two trips per day, and that's not practical.

That does not mean it's acceptable to have every train ar crush load for an hour plus. IE need to set targets for the acceptable levels of standing - both in terms of numbers and duration. It's not surprising people are rude when the alternative is to stand for the better part of an hour.

Most importantly, IE need to monitor and report on levels of crowding, so we can see an unbiased account of the situation, and so that they can target extra trains where they are needed most.

Personally, I get the train to Drogheda. I'm not sure if it's as bad as the Maynooth one, but it's close. I do try to avoid the worst of it by working late some days and leaving early others.
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Unread 23-01-2008, 18:05   #30
Mark Gleeson
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Unnoticed to most several of the 29k railcars have passenger counting equipment

A large number of DART coaches, maybe 30 plus have passenger counters as well

What the do with the info god only knows
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Unread 23-01-2008, 19:27   #31
constellation
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Unnoticed to most several of the 29k railcars have passenger counting equipment

A large number of DART coaches, maybe 30 plus have passenger counters as well
Do tell. How do they work and where are they? I promise not to abuse any information just to mess with IE management.
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Unread 23-01-2008, 19:35   #32
Mark Gleeson
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I'm not giving it away since people will just mess with the gear if they find it, its very discrete above the door

Fact is you don't need gadgets easy say 1240 passengers on board when full and leaving people behind
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Unread 23-01-2008, 21:56   #33
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I've been on a Dublin - Drogheda train, where it was so packed you couldn't even move you arm to get something out of a handbag and no where near a handrail for support, and where the doors could barely close due to the crush loading.

The 5:13 ex Pearse-Dundalk that doesnt stop until Skerries is a bit of a long stand if you're not pushy enough to get a seat. Today I heard someone remark that they sometimes wait for the 7pm enterprise to avoid the pushing and crowding.


Mind you I've seen bad over crowding on the Bus Eireann 101 buses too - one morning on a single decker coach with the stairs you have to walk up to the driver - it was so packed people were standing on the steps at the door and had to get off onto the hard shoulder of motorway to let other passengers off the bus. Though generally bus drivers wont stop if all/most of the seats are already taken.
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Unread 24-01-2008, 08:34   #34
James Shields
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Interesting piece on Newstalk this morning where they interviewed the RSC about whether overcrowded trains are safe.

Ask any rail safety expert are the trains safe, and they will tell you they are, and from their viewpoint they are right. The chances of anyone being killed or injured in a train crash are extremely slim, and cramming more people in doesn't increase that risk. Irish railways are run to very high standards of safety.

However, there's another side to the issue of ppassenger safety that's ignored. That is whether it's safe to be crammed up against so many people. The risks are subtler, but just as real. The dangers include feinting from lack of air, catching diseases from other peoples exhaled germs, back and other problems as a result of being in a cramped posittion, being trampled by the crowd, being pushed from a crowded platform into the path on an oncoming train (have a look in Pearse at 5.15 on a weekday and you'll see what I mean).

Some of these haven't happened, but do we have to wait for a coroner's report before taking action?
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Unread 24-01-2008, 10:08   #35
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It's hardly likely to be fatal or feature in any safety report but I do have really bad back and knee pain after standing for prolonged periods on the train.

Did that guy say something like 'if you dont think a train is safe then vote with your feet and dont get on.' I'm not sure as I only heard the 'build up' to the interview earlier on but not the actual discussion itself.
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Unread 24-01-2008, 11:33   #36
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http://83.138.170.50/podcasts/audio/...safety%201.mp3

On paper its safe, doesn't mean it feels safe

There are no legal standards with respect to passengers standing, either in Ireland or elsewhere in Europe. Commuter trains are designed for standing however intercity trains are not

UK have standards passengers in excess of capacity (PIXC) which monitors the number of passengers standing for more than 20 minutes, Irish Rail don't.
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Unread 24-01-2008, 11:48   #37
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In this mornings (Thursday) metro a few letters

Quote:
How sick-making to see Noel Dempsey swinging out of a seemingly empty, train carriage during the launch of the Phoenix Park station. Whilst the opening of the station is, in theory, a good thing, the minister's carefree pose was an insult to all those customers who have to endure inhumane overcrowding on the same line, each and every day, (and the overcrowding reached new heights on the very day the station opened due to inane timetable changes). We'd all love to have a smile like Noel's on our faces on the Maynooth train but most of us can only manage asphyxiated grimace.
Quote:
Last Monday both the 17.39 Pearse to Maynooth and the 18.09 Pearse to Maynooth were half their normal size. So much for a new timetable and an increase in services.
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Unread 24-01-2008, 13:31   #38
Ballymore
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Cant see Noel and his like leaving the ministerial Merc in an IE car park (or illegally parked in a private housing estate) and slumming it into town with the likes of us too often!
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Train don't run out of Wichita...

Last edited by Ballymore : 24-01-2008 at 13:38. Reason: spelling mistake
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Unread 24-01-2008, 18:41   #39
dowlingm
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re: James' point on diseases etc: on the TTC's new subway cars here in Toronto, the grab bars are supposed to have antibacterial surfaces to reduce the impact of people sniffling on their hands and then holding a bar.
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Unread 24-01-2008, 18:54   #40
Mark Gleeson
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29k fleet have textured handles ideal for retaining nasty bugs
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