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Belmond Hibernian - Luxury Touring Train

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I really don't get folks complaining about BGH and being so expensive (some comments earlier in the thread).

 

- It's a top end of the market train. This is what Belmond do and do very well.

- It's not aimed at the Irish Market. Aimed at US, UK and Europe tourists. Not us Irish folk. If I had the money I would do it so say I've done it. Then again I'll probably do the VSOE first!

- It's full board. Once you step on board you won't spend a cent until you step off at the end of the tour. All tours, food and drink paid for. So you could say paying €7,700 per person for a week tour is actually good value when staying in a 5 star hotel and travelling around the country.

 

While listening to Gary Franklin (Belmond MD) on the Anton Savage Show on Today FM last Tuesday the comments from listeners afterwards were mostly negative afterwards. "Why would you spend €7k to travel on a train around Ireland", "I could go to the Caribbean for that price". etc etc. It's not aimed at us FFS.

 

It appears to me that us Irish are a bunch of whingers and the whole amount of negativity towards this venture astounds me.

 

Now rant over.

 

W.

 

Once upon a time my boss, lord rest him, paid for my trip to Cork first class. We had a great time, he had some wine, I had some guinness, and it was superb. If I had the money to spare, I would happily spend it. I certainly wouldn't begrudge anyone the spend.

 

Irish rail get such a tough time, but when you pay for it, they make it worthwhile.

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Once upon a time my boss, lord rest him, paid for my trip to Cork first class. We had a great time, he had some wine, I had some guinness, and it was superb. If I had the money to spare, I would happily spend it. I certainly wouldn't begrudge anyone the spend.

 

Irish rail get such a tough time, but when you pay for it, they make it worthwhile.

 

I once got on at Ballybrophy and ended up in the First Class by mistake. I had just realised my mistake when the ticket inspector came along, she took pity on me and said nothing, having clipped my ticket with her heart-shaped punch.

 

She the went amongst the legitimate occupants and handed them all handwritten cards, saying to them, "Just pay for a standard ticket next time and show these to the ticket man, and you'll get a First Class ticket then - the service hasn't been quite right today!"

Edited by Broithe
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The Belmond Grand Hibernian at Heuston this morning after arriving from Roscommon. Passengers de-trained at Heuston with some going to the North Antrim Coast (Giant's Causeway etc) and others having a tour of Dublin before rejoining the train to head to Belfast for the afternoon. Well that was the plan. Instead the Dublin tour passengers had an extended stay at Drogheda due to a carriage fault on the train.

 

Click the gallery below to see what happened.

 

In the end the train only made it to Dundalk to stable for the night.

 

DSC_9813-M.jpg

Edited by thewanderer
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The Belmond Grand Hibernian at Heuston this morning after arriving from Roscommon. Passengers de-trained at Heuston with some going to the North Antrim Coast (Giant's Causeway etc) and others having a tour of Dublin before rejoining the train to head to Belfast for the afternoon. Well that was the plan. Instead the Dublin tour passengers had an extended stay at Drogheda due to a carriage fault on the train.

 

Click the gallery below to see what happened.

 

In the end the train only made it to Dundalk to stable for the night.

 

DSC_9813-M.jpg

 

Some great pics. 226 is like new - gleaming and spotless.

 

What was the nature of the fault on the carriage (i.e. was it Electrical, Mechanical, Hot axle, Brakes, Doors, WC/Waste, or Aircon, Suspension, etc)?

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I once got on at Ballybrophy and ended up in the First Class by mistake. I had just realised my mistake when the ticket inspector came along, she took pity on me and said nothing, having clipped my ticket with her heart-shaped punch.

 

She the went amongst the legitimate occupants and handed them all handwritten cards, saying to them, "Just pay for a standard ticket next time and show these to the ticket man, and you'll get a First Class ticket then - the service hasn't been quite right today!"

 

Talking of Second Class Passengers travelling in First Class Coaches, this subject was discussed at our Model Railway Club last Thursday. A Club member,retired British Rail Guard, told me that when, or where, a Second Class Passenger is given permission to travel in a First Class Coach, on a Second Class Ticket, the Guard must firstly seek the permission of each First Class Passenger by asking them, if they have any objections to a non First Class Ticket holder joining them. Should any-one of the First Class passengers raise an objection, the Guard must then refuse permission for the Second Class Ticket holder to travel in First Class.

Where no objection/s is raised by the First Class Passenger/s to the occupation of a seat by a Second Class Ticket holder, each first Class Passenger must then be issued with a notice provided by the train Guard. That notice entitles the First Class Passenger/s to travel on their next train journey using a Second Class Ticket; provided they, present the aforementioned notice when purchasing their ticket, and that they retaining the notice they were provided with.

Edited by Old Blarney
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  • 3 years later...
12 hours ago, DiveController said:

Does anyone happen to now off hand which if the MK3s were purchased to form the Belmond GH set particularly the generator, was it 7602?

7601 is the EGV Carlow now 7104

7122 (the 11th coach) is used as for spare parts and held in Inchicore, still in IE livery. Last time I saw it, it was up on jacks with no bogies in Carriage Shop 2. That was about a year ago.

7104 became Kildare (don't know it's new number). It's the observation coach.

7169 became Wexford now 7102

7171 became Sligo now 7101

7137 became Kerry now 7005

7149 became Down now 7004

7129 became Waterford now 7003

7158 became Leitrim now 7002

7116 became Fermanagh now 7001

7130 became Donegal now 7110

 

Edited by Railer
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I was fortunate and delighted to have been the Guard in charge of the Belmond Grand Hibernian Mk 3 set for three seasons,

The formation is as follows=former IE numbers in brackets,

87104-Carlow-(7601)-EGV

87110-Donegal-(7130) Crew sleeper

87001-Fermanagh-(7116) Sleeper coach

87002-Leitrim-(7158) Sleeper coach

87003-Waterford=(7129) Sleeper coach

87004-Down--(7149) Sleeper coach

87005 Kerry-(7137) Sleeper coach

87101 Sligo-(7171) standard dining coach

87102 Wexford-(7169) premier dining & kitchen coach

87103 Kildare-(7104) observation coach

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  • 8 months later...

Their revenue for the Hibernian was down nearly 30% in 2019 vs. 2018 even before Covid their filings show, seems like they were running out of Americans willing to fork over €1-2K a night. An interesting concept but I think Ireland is simply too small for 3-6 day trips to work - these sorts of things are best if the train is on the move constantly, only stopping for excursions.

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  • 2 months later...
On 15/4/2021 at 2:29 PM, DJ Dangerous said:

What are the odds of the Mk3 rake being put back into regular service for IE?

If IE had been daft enough to buy Hitachi 800s, then they'd be delighted to have them when the cracks in the bogies appeared............

It's not just IE and NIR who run suburban units on express trains - GWR has used the Class 387s to Bristol - arguably a more comfortable ride than the 800s they replaced.

Keep safe

Cynic of Surrey

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Reading my Modern Railways for June, there is a double page on Transport for Wales plans - which include Loco haulage back on Holyhead to Cardiff and services to Manchester - with BR Mark 4 rolling stock - they've bought an extra THIRTY Mark 4 carriages for haulage with Class 67s.

A pity we're not allowed to travel to Ireland at the moment - and not much reason, with exhibitions off and no RPSI trains ........

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I doubt that locomotive hauled passenger services will ever return so I'd say that if the Belmont Grand Hibernian ever stops operating, the Mark IIIs will be scrapped. I'm not sure what IÉ's logic was for scrapping locomotive hauled services nationwide but operating railcars of upto 8 vehicles is effectively running 8 individual locomotives. The most annoying thing about intercity services being operated using diesel railcars is noise intrusion into the cabin.

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29 minutes ago, connollystn said:

I doubt that locomotive hauled passenger services will ever return so I'd say that if the Belmont Grand Hibernian ever stops operating, the Mark IIIs will be scrapped. I'm not sure what IÉ's logic was for scrapping locomotive hauled services nationwide but operating railcars of upto 8 vehicles is effectively running 8 individual locomotives. The most annoying thing about intercity services being operated using diesel railcars is noise intrusion into the cabin.

 

Pretty sure that the Mk3's were in need of refurbishment at the time the decision was made.

Much better economies of scale in the UK so refurbishing hundreds of Mk3's probably made sense to them.

Also, pretty sure that Warbonnet posted in another thread that IE had funding that had to be used up at the time.

Much as I love loco-hauled trains, railcars are far less labour intensive for turnaround etc. As you say, every unit is a loco so you can just swap one out if it's in need of maintenance. There's no shortage of pulling power, ever.

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2 hours ago, Mayner said:

Railtours Ireland are planning to start the Emerald Pullman from July using a dedicate Intercity Railcar set staying overnight in 4 Star Hotels https://railtoursireland.com/

Hopefully this goes ahead and isn't stymied by the new variant of covid....... excellent experience.

Last years' took place with "staycationers", at whom it was aimed, as are those for this year, as there aren't exactly going to be droves of Americans coming here.

This train is not to be confused with Railtours' "Emerald Isle Express" of a few years ago, which used IE 071s and the RPSI Cravens set. That one is unlikely to return for the time being.

The harsh reality is, as others have commented, is that the LOCAL market for a luxury train is small; and what there is, is fraught with whingers and typical Irish begrudgers! We need the 'Murricans back before many aspects of tourism can walk and run again.

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Ultimately remember one thing - IE has nothing to do with the Belmond Mark 3s. They are (naturally enough) Belmond's.

The use of railcars and ICRs on services played a large part in being able to cut costs during the post Celtic Tiger wake and during the March 2020 Covid timetable (where a considerably cheaper 3 ICR was used instead of 201+8 Mark 4 on Cork services). Since then the ICR fleet has performed well and there is no way a traditional loco hauled fleet would be able to operate the timetable in place today

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8 hours ago, DJ Dangerous said:

Wow!

The 22000's are lovely looking as is, but I'm now visualising one of them painted in a chocolate and cream livery.

Mmmmmmh, chocolate.

I'll take the chocolate. Someone else can have the silver "customer pipes".

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