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DART Train Size

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A 'Press Association' report on Yahoo.ie IÉ reads:

 

'Irish Rail is to run smaller Dart trains during quieter times of the day as it seeks to cut fuel bills by 3.2 million euro.

 

The company said it is to run two carriages at a time from mid-morning to mid-afternoon and after 7pm at night to cut out heavy energy use.

 

The off-peak initiative has been introduced on the back of research which shows almost two thirds of Dart passengers use the service in the four hours of rush hour in the morning and evening.

 

Only one third of its passengers on the Dublin suburban rail line are on the service on the other 14 hours.

 

Irish Rail said a range of energy saving initiatives already in place saved the company 16m euro last year alone and over the last five years overall energy consumption has fallen by a third.

 

Other schemes being introduced will target the intercity fleet, with 45 four carriage trains and 18 three carriage trains being created to allow managers to combine sets from three to nine carriage trains depending on demand.

 

"As well as savings in fuel and maintenance costs, the new fleet configuration will ensure train size can be targeted to meet demand, and increase train size and seat numbers on services which have experienced high numbers travelling," the company said.

 

The changes on the Dart will come into effect this week while changes to the intercity fleet will be phased in by the end of the year.

 

Irish Rail said that in total energy usage in megawatt hours has reduced from 793,400 in 2007 to 526,800 in 2012, a reduction of almost 34%.'

 

It is strange, after all the years of larger trains, once again seeing 2-car DARTs scuttling up the bank between Killiney and Dalkey. They are really dwarfed by the landscape. On a more positive note, it will mean that those who want to operate model DARTs on their layouts (either Eoin's or the proposed D&M version) will now have a more affordable option!

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'Passengers in using public transport during rush hour shocker' - Wonder how much the report cost? If they looked out the window they'd get their answer!

 

There is nothing here to suggest that IÉ engaged anyone to produce a report. The PA item states that the changes were introduced '... on the back of research ...'. For all we know this 'research' might well have consisted of a member of staff looking out a window, or, more likely examining output from the ticket issuing/validating equipment or the on-board passenger counting equipment.

 

Cutting back on excess capacity on the DART is not in itself a bad thing. There is no point in wasting electricity and incuring additional maintenance costs if the passengers offering can be accommodated in smaller trains. And there is also the question of passenger safety, certainly on late evening trains. Over the years I have on numerous occasions observed 8-car trains with only a handful of passengers late at night. Many potential passengers wouldn't have felt safe travelling alone in carriage. Would you like to be stuck on your own with a group of skangers in the rear coach of an 8-car set? There will be less opportunity for anti-social behaviour with all passengers concentrated in two vehicles.

 

However, the operation of 2-car off-peak services will require IÉ to be much more pro-active in monitoring events which would be likely to generate additional traffic, such as concerts, sporting fixtures etc and be ready to increase train sizes to an appropriate level.

 

I would be more concerned with the proposals for Intercity services. For example, the already underway plant to substitute ICRs for the MkIV sets on the Cork line. Will a railcar, possibly without catering facilities be attractive to passengers? Or will it just represent a dumbing down of the service? The latter I would suggest.

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There is nothing here to suggest that IÉ engaged anyone to produce a report. The PA item states that the changes were introduced '... on the back of research ...'. For all we know this 'research' might well have consisted of a member of staff looking out a window, or, more likely examining output from the ticket issuing/validating equipment or the on-board passenger counting equipment.

 

Cutting back on excess capacity on the DART is not in itself a bad thing. There is no point in wasting electricity and incuring additional maintenance costs if the passengers offering can be accommodated in smaller trains. And there is also the question of passenger safety, certainly on late evening trains. Over the years I have on numerous occasions observed 8-car trains with only a handful of passengers late at night. Many potential passengers wouldn't have felt safe travelling alone in carriage. Would you like to be stuck on your own with a group of skangers in the rear coach of an 8-car set? There will be less opportunity for anti-social behaviour with all passengers concentrated in two vehicles.

 

However, the operation of 2-car off-peak services will require IÉ to be much more pro-active in monitoring events which would be likely to generate additional traffic, such as concerts, sporting fixtures etc and be ready to increase train sizes to an appropriate level.

 

I would be more concerned with the proposals for Intercity services. For example, the already underway plant to substitute ICRs for the MkIV sets on the Cork line. Will a railcar, possibly without catering facilities be attractive to passengers? Or will it just represent a dumbing down of the service? The latter I would suggest.

 

I never said IE engaged anyone ;) Just saying it's common sense and there was little need to spend money coming to that conclusion, whoever came to it!

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I remember some years ago watching a packed 70 class set, diner included, leaving York Road for Derry. By the mid 90s, a two car 80 class set, ie one and a half coaches of actual seating, set forth on the same run. Now, it's double that in the form of three car CAFs. If the railway matches demand accurately, well and good. But two car sets smell of serious congestion on at least SOME services.....

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