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Noel

2 x Mk4 sets leaving Heuston

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Mk4 set viewed from another Mk4 set. 232 set passing 215 set.

 

The comfort of the Mk4 sets is so superior to the noisy, vibrating hard seated 22k sets.

Edited by Noel

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An ICR at speed - well, a Mk 4 is at best ok, compared with Cravens, laminates or old wooden coaches, all of which rode WAY better. But an ICR is dreadful - like being a marble flung about in an empty biscuit tin. Writing, or drinking from a cup of tea is very difficult.

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I'd love to know why people have such an issue with ICR's. The only reason I can think of is that they replaced loco hauled sets.

 

Before anyone says 'you haven't used them', as of yesterday I've done 20,713.82 miles on the things, over 227 vehicles. I have had NO problem reading, writing, using a phone, sleeping, talking, listening to music or anything like that. Same with the Mark 4's. They are by far the best option for an intercity railcar. Yes you do get some vibrations and rattles from the engine, but compared to some in the UK you would hardly notice it.

 

The problem is not the stock but the track. One section that springs to mind in Monasterevin in the Down direction. Flung around at speed regardless of what you are in

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I'd love to know why people have such an issue with ICR's. The only reason I can think of is that they replaced loco hauled sets.

 

One word - Comfort (on inter city trips)

 

I'd love to know why people have such an issue with ICR's. The only reason I can think of is that they replaced loco hauled sets.

 

Before anyone says 'you haven't used them', as of yesterday I've done 20,713.82 miles on the things, over 227 vehicles. I have had NO problem reading, writing, using a phone, sleeping, talking, listening to music or anything like that. Same with the Mark 4's. They are by far the best option for an intercity railcar. Yes you do get some vibrations and rattles from the engine, but compared to some in the UK you would hardly notice it.

 

The problem is not the stock but the track. One section that springs to mind in Monasterevin in the Down direction. Flung around at speed regardless of what you are in

 

In fairness compared to other older ICRs the 22k sets are an improvement, but nowhere near as comfortable on a long trip as the mk3 and mk4 coaching sets. Aside from noise and vibration, the main difference is the hard SEATS which are very uncomfortable on a long trip. Fine for a commute but not for long rail journeys. As for the 2600, 2700, 2800 and 29000 (really 2900) they remind me of my time working behind the "iron curtain" many years ago. I understand the economics of ICRs, but UK, France and Germany can operate fixed rake intercity loco sets that don't need shunting nor run arounds at termini using mainly twin power cars at each end of the rake, or push pull. Same cost savings on labour, simpler track work at termini, fast turnaround. The 22k sets are just not comfortable enough for "Inter city" routes. The motorway is more comfortable. Nothing to do with emotional nostalgia for locos, just quiet coaches that are comfortable to sit in for 2 to 4 hours.

 

On trips to Cork and Kerry we only go Irish Rail if we can book on a mk4 set. Never again will I do a 3 hour rail journey on those 22000 seats.

Edited by Noel

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It's one of those things that will never be agreed upon. Whilst I like the Mark 4 sets, they aren't as comfortable in my opinion (in seat terms or internal layout) as the ICR fleet. Temperature has never been a problem for me, whilst I've seen a few people complain about it

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I wouldn't say I've an "issue" with them per se, in fact I've posted before that I find them comfortable to sit in. Personally I find loco hauled stock better in many ways, but it's not from that perspective I'm coming.

 

I too have travelled extensively in ICRs and continue to do so. Maybe you've a steadier hand than me (!), but at speed they are not at all smooth riding. That's one thing. The other is the extreme heat in them all too often. But that's fixable - apparently they set the heat on so high to please the blue rinse brigade who use them so much in daytime - I was told that from an "official" source!

 

All modern trains, including, of course, Mk 3 coaches (and Mk 4) suffer from this aversion to fresh air that everyone seems to have. Modern buildings likewise; anything or everything three days seems to have to have sealed windows which can't be opened. Hospitals, offices, large shops the same....

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PS: Nice clip of three trains on the move.

 

[video=youtube;Cx-UGe7dRXM]

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When commenting on being flung about, hurricane, it was indeed stretches of the Cork line I had in mind, though the Galway line has several patches too where you experience, eh.... turbulence!

 

As railcars, despite my above comments, ICRs are the opposite end of the comfort scale to the ghastly 450, MED and MPD cars of UTA / NIR! All of them, particularly the 450 and MED cars, were extremely uncomfortable for any journey over ten minutes.

 

The underfloor engines on an ICR (or more so, an old AEC or BUT car) made their presence felt now and again, the AECs being even noisier than an ICR. But an underfloor noise-insulated engine is better than an above-floor engine.

 

Apart from diehard enthusiasts who like extreme engine noise (and depending on what's up front I'm one), travelling in the actual POWER car of a 70 or 80 class, or a 450, was sheer murder. I have travelled in all manner of trains on four continents and have never found anything with the vibration and noise levels of those. On a 450 the experience was added to by the two-speed engines (stop and start), the bad ventilation (warm and stuffy in summer, cold in winter) and the puny seats.

 

Rant over..... bah humbug!

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I suppose there are two view points of ICR likes/dislikes - one being as a rail passenger, and the other as a modeller. My issues have been as a passenger, nothing to do with my personal leaning towards model locos of 60s and 70s.

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Having travelled in Mk3s, ICRs, and Cravens(i think), i would have to say that the MK3s were very comfortable, and i think the cravens were comfortable as well,( cant remember fully, it was a good while ago) But on the case of the 22000 class ICRs i find them reasonably comfortable. the only real problem I ever had with them was leg room, but i have grown used to this as they are vastly superior to other railcars, such as the 2700 class.

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Try driving the yokes...... :((

 

Are they awkward or troublesome?

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ICR Cab were designed by midgets for midgets, dash/console is ridiculously low, which means if you have the seat in the correct position you are hunched at the controls which after a long trip to Dublin & back results in chronic back pain if you happen to be over 5ft 8" (i'm 6 1") if you lower the seat all the shocks & bumps travel up your spine. The amount of draughts that enter the Cab is ridiculous especially around your legs, Cab Doors have a habit of flying open at high speed, Air Con is non existant,non stop alarms or warnings going off, & lets not forget passengers setting off the emergency comm thinking its the button to flush the toilet. The only good thing about them is they are fast & have good brakes (which is handy as you can get the hell off the yokes sooner!) They are grand for branch line work but are a nightmare for main line work. Rant over. :mad:

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ICR Cab were designed by midgets for midgets, dash/console is ridiculously low, which means if you have the seat in the correct position you are hunched at the controls which after a long trip to Dublin & back results in chronic back pain if you happen to be over 5ft 8" (i'm 6 1") if you lower the seat all the shocks & bumps travel up your spine. The amount of draughts that enter the Cab is ridiculous especially around your legs, Cab Doors have a habit of flying open at high speed, Air Con is non existant,non stop alarms or warnings going off, & lets not forget passengers setting off the emergency comm thinking its the button to flush the toilet. The only good thing about them is they are fast & have good brakes (which is handy as you can get the hell off the yokes sooner!) They are grand for branch line work but are a nightmare for main line work. Rant over. :mad:

 

It's hard to imagine that a modern vehicle of any description could have faults like that. It sounds like the modern day farm tractor is built to a higher standard. Draughts entering the cab, and doors flying open shouldn't be accepted in this day and age. Not to mention a poor driving position, with all the focus there is these days on preventing workplace injuries and general workplace standards.

What's the procedure when someone accidentally sets off the alarm in the bog? Are you supposed to stop the train to attend to their needs?

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ICR Cab were designed by midgets for midgets, dash/console is ridiculously low, which means if you have the seat in the correct position you are hunched at the controls which after a long trip to Dublin & back results in chronic back pain if you happen to be over 5ft 8" (i'm 6 1") if you lower the seat all the shocks & bumps travel up your spine. The amount of draughts that enter the Cab is ridiculous especially around your legs, Cab Doors have a habit of flying open at high speed, Air Con is non existant,non stop alarms or warnings going off, & lets not forget passengers setting off the emergency comm thinking its the button to flush the toilet. The only good thing about them is they are fast & have good brakes (which is handy as you can get the hell off the yokes sooner!) They are grand for branch line work but are a nightmare for main line work. Rant over. :mad:

Looks like ergonomics was not a priority for driver or passengers

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I agree with Noel , being a big lad, the seating on the ICR is AWFUL , sore ar$e after an hour. The sa,me nonsense jseating is visited on us, in modern darts And Dublin bus. No seat springing., just a sort thin foam pad and " indvidual " seat shapes designed to accommodate midgets

 

Give me the big bench of a Park Royal or laminate any day, nice sprung seats and tall backs. Heaven. Remember the days when you could spread across a bench designed to sit three and comfortably snooze the journey away to the huge excessive steam heating to your feet while a gale Blew around your heads from the open windows ! Ah bliss

 

I agree with others re air con. I remember being on the first mk2s , I was disgusted to find the Windows didn't open. ( at least you could hang out the door Windows )

 

[ranton]

When you build a rail system solely around saving money , you end up with this type of nonsense

[/rantoff]

Edited by Junctionmad

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Does anybody know if 22k system was cabin trialled before purchase or at the design stage (ie like sea trials at design phase)? Stick all size and shapes of folks on board for a 3hr trip and get feedback.

 

The airlines do this with members of the public to test things like seating, ambience, climate control, sound, signage, safety, helm ergonomics, etc. it's such a shame because as a piece of infrastructure they look so impressive on the outside. A big new fleet of modern ICRs that lack the comfort to attract customers away from the motorways to intercity rail travel. Anyway no use crying about it the capital has been blown and we are stuck with them for at least 25 years unless in the future they get better seats fitted.

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For the Mark IV Cab they sent over a prototype dash halway through the build & asked for our feedback. When we put a few suggestions to them we were told "oh it's too late to change things as the plans are all agreed & it would be too costly to alter it & would only delay the order" No such input in to the ICRs. A guy in an office who never drove a train in his life signs off on the order. The first thing we all said when we say the ICRs for the first time was that those fibreglass skirts won't last a week. Low & behold you would be doing well to find one with a complete skirt on both ends. It's only now that they are putting aluminum panels on the front but at what cost? Feedback from frontline staff & passengers is crucial to get an order right. It still baffles me to this day why modern Cabs have the heat coming from the ceiling.With draughts it renders them useless. Heat rises so heaters should be located on the floor near your legs. The old rolling stock (141/071/201)Loco's have their heaters there.I also agree that the seat padding for passengers is too thin.

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It's hard to imagine that a modern vehicle of any description could have faults like that. It sounds like the modern day farm tractor is built to a higher standard. Draughts entering the cab, and doors flying open shouldn't be accepted in this day and age. Not to mention a poor driving position, with all the focus there is these days on preventing workplace injuries and general workplace standards.

What's the procedure when someone accidentally sets off the alarm in the bog? Are you supposed to stop the train to attend to their needs?

 

It sets off an alarm & a warning on the screen & you can talk to them via an intercom (explaining that this button doesn't flush the toilet) if you have no host wait until the next station to re-set the button.

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For the Mark IV Cab they sent over a prototype dash halway through the build & asked for our feedback. When we put a few suggestions to them we were told "oh it's too late to change things as the plans are all agreed & it would be too costly to alter it & would only delay the order" No such input in to the ICRs. A guy in an office who never drove a train in his life signs off on the order. The first thing we all said when we say the ICRs for the first time was that those fibreglass skirts won't last a week. Low & behold you would be doing well to find one with a complete skirt on both ends. It's only now that they are putting aluminum panels on the front but at what cost? Feedback from frontline staff & passengers is crucial to get an order right. It still baffles me to this day why modern Cabs have the heat coming from the ceiling.With draughts it renders them useless. Heat rises so heaters should be located on the floor near your legs. The old rolling stock (141/071/201)Loco's have their heaters there.I also agree that the seat padding for passengers is too thin.

 

Hi RebelRed

Thanks for that feedback. There was a similar glitch in Aer Lingus about 30 years ago when for the 1st time bean counters alone were involved in the procurement of a few small boeings for use on new transatlantic sectors direct to smaller eastern US cities. They made such a 'hames' of the spec they had to be withdrawn from service after months and leased off to some other overseas airlines. Amongst the mistakes in spec, they had insufficient foul waste tank capacity for the sectors they were operating (i.e. post blue ice era), so pax were effectively expected to 'hold it' on full services after 4 or 5 hours flying time, but worst of all the fuel range was so marginal that if there was any air traffic delaying during the flight, the aircraft frequently had to request priority approaches due to low fuel, which meant huge 5 figure fines per incident. Civilian transport aircraft are normally spaced out by current and former line pilots, as well as technical maintenance staff, and operations staff, not just suits sitting in offices who've never flown.

Noel

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I'd believe it Noel, a rumour in the Railway was that after General Motors won the contract for the 201's a fleet of shiny new Opels were delivered to certain management shortly after the delivery of the first batch of Loco's :confused:

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