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Unread 10-05-2010, 18:31   #1
James Howard
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Default [10/05/2010] Shambolic response to signal failure

Was on the slow Longford train which has just kicked everyone off. Nobody has a clue of what is going on. Now at Clonsilla an hour late with nothing going anywhere and no idea if I am getting home to Edgeworthstown night.

I believe this is the second signal failure in a week here.
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Unread 10-05-2010, 20:35   #2
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Now arriving into Maynooth 3 hours and 20 minutes after leaving Pearse. Even if we have no further delays, this will be my second worse delay in 6 years of commuting.

The worst thing about this was the level of information which consisted of the following
1. Driver of Bray-Longford train telling us there was a problem but not given any details
2. Informed that we had to get off at Clonsilla
3. Some announcements were made at Clonsilla. All but one were inaudible over the noise of idling trains. That was just an apology. Numerous pushes of info button at platform were not answered. There was also a visually impaired man waiting on the platform with no assurance that there was actually going to be a train. He was dependent on assistance from passengers as there was no staff or operating info system.
4. A work colleague was on a bus to Lucan and an Irish Rail staff member got onto the bus to tell everyone that the next train was going to Maynooth. He eventually got to Maynooth 2 hours later. This is worse than no information - actual disinformation.
5. We were informed of a 25 minute delay at Maynooth that ended up being almost 60 minutes.

Now we have just left Maynooth so there is lots more to happen yet although seemingly the signals are working beyond Enfield.

At least in the old days with Network Catering, they would give you a free cup of coffee. The trolley service seems to have quit - probably because the poor girl was sick of getting an earful from people expecting free tea.

Last edited by James Howard : 10-05-2010 at 20:39. Reason: Missing info
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Unread 11-05-2010, 10:14   #3
Ballymore
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Angry 3 hours to Mullingar 10/5/10

Nightmare trip last night with the 19.05 to Sligo arriving in Mullingar around 10pm. Apparently there was severe signal failure in Clonsilla and we ended up sitting for lenghty periods at Connolly, Clonsilla and again at Maynooth.

In fairness our driver regularly updated us with information whenever he had it. Sometimes too much so but you cant please everyone!

I heard a lot of people talking about claiming a refund on their tickets but as I have an annual ticket am I entitled to any refund or compensation?

Particularly for having to sit 3 hours listening to some people advising everyone in the whole county of Longford that they were stuck on the train and repeating over and over and over the minute details of our predicament.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 10:18   #4
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Also while I'm at it wouldnt it be a good idea (on severely delayed services) for IR to turn off the cheery voice announcements welcoming us on board the 19:05 etc etc when it is only adding to the frustration of a 'treble time' journey.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 11:11   #5
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Refunds are available to all passengers except those holding DSFA passes

For annual holders delayed by more than 2 hours, value of ticket / 420 = refund. For a Longford based ticket holder that is equal to 8 euro.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 11:14   #6
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On the 19:05 (allegedly) we did have a trolley service but there were no suggestion of freebies at any point. I did see someone buy a mouthful of wine for 6 and I was so disgusted at the 'highway robbery' I had just witnessed I changed my mind about buying a packet of Tayto.

After sitting idle for more than 2 hours of the 3 hours we were on board it was getting quite hot in the carriage.

I have just completed my 'compensation' form for the crack anyway. If they offer me 'discounted' tickets they can shove them in a very very dark place as I pay the guts of 3k for an annual ticket and never ever ever use the train for non work journeys.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 11:15   #7
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In fairness, the drivers were all pretty good - in particular the guy on the 19:05. I ended up on that train after taking the earlier Bray - Longford train.

It is just that the driver can't tell you much if he's not being told anything. All we needed was somebody to come on an announcement and say that we would get home that night.

It is also pretty serious that nobody is answering the info buttons at Clonsilla. Surely responding to this is part of allowing stations to be unmanned. I was considering giving the SOS button a whirl after we had been standing on the platform for an hour but thought the better of it.

I am really looking forward to my 8 euro. That makes me feel better about taking 4 hours 55 minutes door-to-door on my commute. I generally claim these anyway more to cause them hassle as the vouchers are pretty useless to me.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 11:17   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Refunds are available to all passengers except those holding DSFA passes

For annual holders delayed by more than 2 hours, value of ticket / 420 = refund. For a Longford based ticket holder that is equal to 8 euro.
So does this mean as a Mullingar commuter my refund entitlement is about 6?
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Unread 11-05-2010, 11:22   #9
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It would be 6 euro
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Unread 11-05-2010, 11:36   #10
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The trolley on the 19:05 could in no way cope with everyone on board looking for a drink. The trolley would have to stop several times to reheat the boiler, they carry a power lead for the purpose. But they would run out of cups fairly quickly.

Under no circumstances is alcohol to be released for free, you would be hard pushed to serve more than 20 from the supply carried anyway. Incidentally the driver has to track down a manager by phone to release the catering. Needless to say that isn't easy after 6pm.

We don't know what happened yet but the SSI system in Maynooth died again, as the Sligo line is effectively saturated with trains in the evening peak even an instant reversion to manual would result in serious delays as there are more trains going out than heading towards Dublin
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Unread 11-05-2010, 11:48   #11
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I wasnt expecting free catering myself but I did overhear a few grumbles about having to pay for stuff!

I was just shocked at the wine costing 6 - you would think as a 'hardy seasoned commuter' I would be unshockable by now but no that was a new one on me.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 12:59   #12
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Catering should have been free no question.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 13:15   #13
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I wasn't expecting a free drink either - it is quite obvious that the trolley couldn't cope. I feel sorry for the guy who was operating it given that he was taking most of the stick and he doesn't even work for Irish Rail.

Before the 29Ks came in, they used to give out free tea/coffee over the bar if there was a serious delay but they had the capacity to serve it back then. Even if it were possible, it mightn't be the brightest idea to start giving free drink to a trainload of irate seriously delayed commuters.

It strikes me that it would have been eminantly sensible to put some sort of a stores cupboard and fridge for the catering on the 22Ks. That might enable them to increase volume and reduce prices. I suppose the prices are reasonably competitive to what you would pay in a Dublin pub, and you are buying for consumption on the premises anyway.

If I want coffee on the train I take a flask as the coffee tastes like lukewarm dishwater anyway. Same goes for food -there is no shortage of places selling sambos near Connolly but most of them charge the same as the trolley anyway.

Is it possible that the problem with the signals anything to do with new line being integrated?
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Unread 11-05-2010, 17:02   #14
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Quote:
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I wasn't expecting a free drink either - it is quite obvious that the trolley couldn't cope. I feel sorry for the guy who was operating it given that he was taking most of the stick and he doesn't even work for Irish Rail.

Before the 29Ks came in, they used to give out free tea/coffee over the bar if there was a serious delay but they had the capacity to serve it back then. Even if it were possible, it mightn't be the brightest idea to start giving free drink to a trainload of irate seriously delayed commuters.

It strikes me that it would have been eminantly sensible to put some sort of a stores cupboard and fridge for the catering on the 22Ks. That might enable them to increase volume and reduce prices. I suppose the prices are reasonably competitive to what you would pay in a Dublin pub, and you are buying for consumption on the premises anyway.

If I want coffee on the train I take a flask as the coffee tastes like lukewarm dishwater anyway. Same goes for food -there is no shortage of places selling sambos near Connolly but most of them charge the same as the trolley anyway.

Is it possible that the problem with the signals anything to do with new line being integrated?
I'm sorry but not surprised to hear about the shambles on the Sligo line but I'm sure Barry Kenny will have a perfectly reasonable explanation for it - probably something to do with the Icelandic volcano.
Incidentally, my research into alternatives to Gourmet Rail have lead me to Busaras where most sambos/drinks etc are available for a fraction of those prices charged by Dick Turpin. The catering should be brought back under IE control if for no other reason than allowing complimentary refreshments can easily be dished out on occasions like this.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 22:25   #15
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It is also pretty serious that nobody is answering the info buttons at Clonsilla. Surely responding to this is part of allowing stations to be unmanned. I was considering giving the SOS button a whirl after we had been standing on the platform for an hour but thought the better of it.
Typical IE, I'm sure the first week they were in place someone was being monitored as they answered them and like most customer facing things in IE, they get quickly abandoned so that they are useless for the customers who may need to use them.

I was stuck in Coolmine before on a Sunday when the train was announced as canceled. I pressed the info button and someone answered.

They actually hung up once I mentioned canceled train and refused to answer any more repeated buzzes.

I wonder how much IE paid to put those systems in?
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Unread 12-05-2010, 04:46   #16
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Quote:
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]I'm sure Barry Kenny will have a perfectly reasonable explanation for it - probably something to do with the Icelandic volcano.
Jesus man, don't give him ideas - he's probably googling frantically for an excuse he hasn't used 26 times already.
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Unread 12-05-2010, 06:42   #17
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Jesus man, don't give him ideas - he's probably googling frantically for an excuse he hasn't used 26 times already.
Don't worry he doesn't have internet access where he is right now...
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Unread 12-05-2010, 08:29   #18
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In comparison:

Yesterday the tram signals outside Milltown school went a little wonky and delayed a few trams. When we should have left Cowper, the driver came on to apologise, explain the nature of the problem and the anticipated length of the delay (10 minutes). This happened no more than ten seconds after we should have left.

After 5 minutes he apologised again. After 10 minutes, he said we would be clear to leave in 30 seconds and after 30 seconds, we left. All this was said in a clear voice and at a volume that a) everyone could hear and b) wasn't too loud.

Yes, it was a much simpler fault that the one in this thread but the way it was handled was perfectly professional. The last time I was stuck on a Luas that had broken down, the first thing the drivers controller did was tell him, word for word, what to say to the passengers.
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Unread 12-05-2010, 09:11   #19
James Howard
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The refund form for the Sligo line is available here.

http://www.irishrail.ie/images/pdfs/...unt%20Form.pdf

This link and more info is available on http://railusers.ie/passenger_info/refunds.php

I've handed out forms to everyone in the office that uses that line - one guy was over three hours getting to Maynooth after being told by Irish Rail staff who boarded a bus that the trains would be back running in a minute.

Using the refund system as a form of protest is about the most effective way of doing anything and it is a reasonable use of your time given that you get a few quids' worth of vouchers.
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Unread 12-05-2010, 10:50   #20
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Good man, everyone should fill out the form.

Of course they will take ages to reply, that again gives us more evidence of incompetence.

We might have to introduce a system to allow people to join RUI by donating the refund vouchers.

Cross border passengers are entitled to cash refunds now
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