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New CIE trains

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  • 09-12-2008 10:41am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 897 ✭✭✭


    On the commute up to dublin this morning(from Carlow) we had one of the older (diesel I think) trains. I forgot what comfort was. The seats were soft and cosy, you could rest your head on the plastic divider between windows, it was nice and warm.

    What moron designed the new trains? I understand about modernisation, but not at the cost of basic comfort. The seats are rock hard, the window is about 2 inches out from the old windows, so to sleep you need to crane your neck at an very un-evolutionary position. If you spent 4 years in design college, and were asked to design a train, wouldn’t your first thought be people might want to sleep on this train. Why does a train need a windowsill anyways?
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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,066 ✭✭✭talkingclock


    I take the train to get from A to B. I have a bed to sleep in. If I had to design a train then a compromiss between passenger numbers and comfort would be the thing to think about but not about people who wants to rest their heads agains a window for a nap!

    unless i have to design a sleeping-car.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 897 ✭✭✭oxygen_old


    If you were to design a train you wouldnt take into account that people might sleep on it? really??


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,854 ✭✭✭munchkin_utd


    Was on the TGV there coming back from Paris to Munich on Sunday and they have a nifty wee flap at one side of the headrest that you can lean your head against to get a bit of kip.
    It's so effective that I fell sound asleep for over an hour without even trying.
    (a not great picture of the seats is here http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c0/TGV_POS_Innen_1.Klasse.jpg/800px-TGV_POS_Innen_1.Klasse.jpg)

    Would something like that have been of use to you?

    p.s. I was on an older TGV there a couple of months ago and it didnt have the wee flap for the head so abroad the grass isnt always greener!


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,948 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    oxygen wrote: »
    On the commute up to dublin this morning(from Carlow) we had one of the older (diesel I think) trains.

    All trains on that line are diesel ;)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 897 ✭✭✭oxygen_old


    Ah good stuff, now I know all trains on the Waterford dublin line are diesel, and that its the TGV I wasnt to be getting, not the CIE :)

    I remember dragons den once, and one proposal was a non slip small cushion for commuters. he was laughed out of it, but it was really a good invention, as jumpers tend to slip on the glass. Im this far from getting a neck blow up cushion, but that is way way geeky.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 369 ✭✭weehamster


    Oh please. :rolleyes: The new trains are fine and there are far worse things to moan about to IÉ. Sleeping on a commuter train is the last thing on that list. So instead of engaging in pathetic moaning, may I suggest you divert your energies to shopping on-line for a travel pillow.
    606_large_image.jpg1
    440.jpg2


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    I see the usual "lets lash the OP out of it" attitude prevails.

    For the record and at the risk of "offending" the know alls here, perhaps Irish Rail would have been better off actually including their customers in the design of the new trains, instead of blindly ordering plasticine ****e that apparently suits them and not the customer. Think, bikes, fastrack, comfort, etc. The only thing they did get right is disabled access and thats because its the law to get it right.

    And the running of 6 coach trains (two 3 piece sets) is just plain rediculous in terms of catering. No doubt this will continue as the move to more frequent intercity services has been abandoned.

    In conclusion, the new trains are just that...New. In terms of passenger experience, they are merely functional and devoid of passenger friendly kit. They are built as cheaply as possible with stripped down interiors, are about as streamlined as a donkeys arse and continue IE's tradition of making a balls of things when they have money. Add to that the fact that the new trains where ordered with a particular timetable in mind (which has been abandoned) and we can see all sorts of rediculous permatations. But the WRC is now guaranteed a few sets anyway.:rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    One of the things I dislike about public transport is the discomfort almost always associated with it. I never take buses. You might sneer at the OP, but he makes an interesting point.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,012 ✭✭✭✭thebman


    I sleep on the commuter trains almost every day.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 578 ✭✭✭Owenw


    brim4brim wrote: »
    I sleep on the commuter trains almost every day.

    As do I and a lot of other people who commute daily. A little comfort wouldn't go amiss. I can't believe people are supporting IE who, let's not forget, spent many millions of our money on these trains.

    Glad to be finishing college in 7 months for the simple fact that using public transport continues to be a miserable and frustrating experience in this country.

    Let the train cause you strain!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,012 ✭✭✭✭thebman


    Owenw wrote: »
    As do I and a lot of other people who commute daily. A little comfort wouldn't go amiss. I can't believe people are supporting IE who, let's not forget, spent many millions of our money on these trains.

    Glad to be finishing college in 7 months for the simple fact that using public transport continues to be a miserable and frustrating experience in this country.

    Let the train cause you strain!

    They are comfortable enough. I prefer the commuter trains to the Dart.

    I commute from Maynooth to City Centre each day without feeling uncomfortable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,219 ✭✭✭Calina


    oxygen wrote: »
    If you spent 4 years in design college, and were asked to design a train, wouldn’t your first thought be people might want to sleep on this train.

    On this subject, no, it probably wouldn't be. I'd be more inclined to think they might want somewhere to put their laptop though or bottle of water.

    That being said, if I sleep on trains, which is rare enough, I sleep with myhead on the fold down table, but that's just me.

    I'm fascinated though. If they spend money on anything they get accused of profligacy, if they don't spend money they get accused of not taking their customers into consideration.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19,986 ✭✭✭✭mikemac


    oxygen wrote: »
    I remember dragons den once, and one proposal was a non slip small cushion for commuters. he was laughed out of it, but it was really a good invention, as jumpers tend to slip on the glass.

    That sounds like a good idea to me
    I might just have to steal it :cool:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day


    Calina wrote: »
    On this subject, no, it probably wouldn't be. I'd be more inclined to think they might want somewhere to put their laptop though or bottle of water.

    That being said, if I sleep on trains, which is rare enough, I sleep with myhead on the fold down table, but that's just me.

    I'm fascinated though. If they spend money on anything they get accused of profligacy, if they don't spend money they get accused of not taking their customers into consideration.

    Excuse me Mod it is not the amount of money that CIE/IE spend but what they spend it on that is the problem. No consideration is given to what passengers really need such as things already mentioned in this thread e.g. comfy seats, pleasant lighting, proper catering...instead the money is wasted on electronic displays and other gimmicks that we all know won't last the test of time. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,744 ✭✭✭deRanged


    The first time I got into one of the new trains I thought exactly the same as the OP. I used to get the Cork Dublin train a lot, and would pick the seat in the carriage that had the best "head rest" window divider thing. I also found the seats less pleasant on the new one - something about the angle of the seat back doesn't suit me.

    However, I love the reservation system (even though I might have to move people out of my seat) and the smoothness of the newer trains over the older one. I'm more than happy to trade the "old comforts" for the new service.

    They've been running an old intercity set on the Cobh/Cork at 08:30 each morning lately. It's nice when I'm not in any particular hurry to have the pleasant seat and the nostalgia but when I'm trying to get into town on time - I'd rather see an uncomfortable railcar that I'll have to stand on any time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,219 ✭✭✭Calina


    Depends on your needs. I value the electronic displays a lot. I can't speak for the commuter trains but will say that the long haul trains are comfortable. I'm also on the record on this forum for years as complaining that the rail system in Ireland is woefully underfunded even when they think they are throwing money at it.

    The point I would make is that regardless of how they spend the money, someone is going to complain. This is reality. Your problem is persuading me that you complaining about a lack of comfort have more merit that other person telling me they are happy.

    I have no axe to grind per se.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,012 ✭✭✭✭thebman


    The biggest problem I have with the service is the full blast heating on a packed train because it is winter :(

    Arrive in work dehydrated and worn out. I'm usually on the train early enough to open the window and have my seat beside it though so its less of an issue now than it was when I took a later train that starts in Longford so there are no window seats.

    Again this is persona preference but I think people prefer to have the heating turned down on the train as it gets full.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,464 ✭✭✭MOH


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    The only thing they did get right is disabled access and thats because its the law to get it right.

    Didn't they even get that partly wrong - wasn't there some issue about the colour scheme around the doors used not being sufficiently contrasting for visually impaired customers ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 897 ✭✭✭oxygen_old


    Calina wrote: »
    On this subject, no, it probably wouldn't be. I'd be more inclined to think they might want somewhere to put their laptop though or bottle of water.

    There are tables. It would be a really bizzare design if there were no tables.
    Calina wrote: »
    That being said, if I sleep on trains, which is rare enough, I sleep with myhead on the fold down table, but that's just me.

    Yea, Im only 5'8'' and I still dont have space to sleep on the fold down tables, and theres only like 8 fold downs per carriage.
    Calina wrote: »
    I'm fascinated though. If they spend money on anything they get accused of profligacy, if they don't spend money they get accused of not taking their customers into consideration.

    Its just me posting a gripe about the design of the new trains. Its perfectly valid. Im not disputing that the new trains are faster, and believe me, I appreciate that. All I'm saying that someone missed a few points on the design. These trains are for moderate to long journeys, and this should be taken into account in the design.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,822 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu


    don't forget, this is the same company that signed off on the japanese DARTs that only have enough legroom for dwarfs and double-amputees. They dont give a toss about passenger comfort.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,219 ✭✭✭Calina


    I'm 5'9" for the record.

    You need to understand that while you're just having a gripe, such gripes develop into wider debates here. Hence my point. Some trains do not have tables suitable for laptops. I wouldn't call Carlow a long journey per se; if it's commuting it's out of the realm of long journey...in my view.

    For me the new trains are not faster. 15 years ago the fastest train I could get home was 1h51m. It's now 2 hours, similar number of stops. I think this observation has been made before (Cork line for anyone more expert). I know it's only 9 minutes...but still...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,639 ✭✭✭Zoney


    The seats on the new Cork-Dublin trains are not comfortable. I entirely agree with the positive points about online reservations, displays, etc. but these do not suddenly mean we have to completely ignore valid negative points. I don't really think the argument against complaining, i.e. that "gripes" frequently turn into debates, should be put forward by someone disagreeing with the particular complaint here. It's a bit of a conflict of interest.

    I disagree about the ride quality, at least for the "Mark IVs". They judder far more on our dodgy Irish tracks than the old Mark IIIs do. The new regional railcars are however, better, a plus point for having an engine on each unit.

    I do highly recommend the regional railcars, they are proper long-distance trains and not just souped up commuter trains. The power sockets at each table are fantastic for laptop use without draining battery! You can use your laptop and still arrive at your destination with a fully charged laptop!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,782 ✭✭✭SeanW


    despite what the Irish Rail Fan Club here and elsewhere might have to say about the OP etc, there is one point - CIE (who haven't carried a passenger since 1987) and to a lesser extent Irish Rail, don't give two s***s about passenger comfort or convenience.

    I believe Thomas Sheridan (I think it was him) said it best when he said "CIE doesn't run a transport service, they just pay people to drive buses and trains."

    I quite agree about the "old trains" the Mark2Ds we had on the Sligo Line were waaaaaay more comfortable and pleasant than the Commuter tin-cans they were replaced with for a couple of years - but the new railcars are something much more resembling a proper Intercity service.

    Thus there are now, generally speaking, two kinds of "new CIE trains," the Commuter trains (usually with a light green, white and some blue paint and Commuter branding) and the new Intercity railcars (silver with Intercity branding). Comfort wise, you cannot really compare one with the other. It is most likely that the OPs "new CIE trains" are of the Commuter type.

    But take heart OP, the order for Intercity railcars included some additional 6 carriage sets for use as Commuter trains - intended to serve Athlone, Carlow and I think Portlaoise.

    These will be like the Intercity 6 car sets, but will have no first class or catering.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,012 ✭✭✭✭thebman


    I don't really see what people have against the commuter trains.

    Been using them for over a year now. I thought they were a bit uncomfortable at first but you get used to them.

    I don't have a problem with people complaining about them though. I do think that the frequency and capacity of the service is much more important but that is just my opinion.

    One other gripe I have is that my train pulls into Connolly and I then have to go down the tunnel and up the other side to transfer to a dart. The number of people doing the same thing is staggering and I can't help but feel that if they put the train into the furthest over station, it would allow people to simply walk out and onto the other train and not squash and queue to try to make the dart and frequently people miss it.

    This is a pain and I assumed there was system to it and that it just wasn't possible until a few weeks ago when it did pull into the other side and everything worked perfectly that day. This train I'm getting off just goes back out to Maynooth anyway so I don't see the point in having it take up space on the line that goes to Bray at peak times. It is the 7:20 train from Maynooth and it arrives at about 8 in Connolly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,312 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Furet wrote: »
    One of the things I dislike about public transport is the discomfort almost always associated with it. I never take buses. You might sneer at the OP, but he makes an interesting point.
    Sure, but sleeping on you bike / motor bike / car has other issues. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    SeanW wrote: »
    I believe Thomas Sheridan (I think it was him) said it best when he said "CIE doesn't run a transport service, they just pay people to drive buses and trains."

    You're dead right, it was Thomas that said that on the original P11 web site and he had it bang on the money.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    MOH wrote: »
    Didn't they even get that partly wrong - wasn't there some issue about the colour scheme around the doors used not being sufficiently contrasting for visually impaired customers ?

    I only recall the grab rails at the doors being preferred in bright yellow (which they are now) on the inter city railcars. Minor stuff when you look at the toilets and carraige interiors.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,042 ✭✭✭kaizersoze


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    And the running of 6 coach trains (two 3 piece sets) is just plain rediculous in terms of catering. No doubt this will continue as the move to more frequent intercity services has been abandoned.

    You're right. I see that everyday passing through the local station and I really really can't understand why the do it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 897 ✭✭✭oxygen_old


    Yea, this morning the coffee service was only available in 3 rail cars of the 9 car train. From the amount of people I see buying coffee I would say this is loosing CIE money


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,025 ✭✭✭Ham'nd'egger


    oxygen wrote: »
    Yea, this morning the coffee service was only available in 3 rail cars of the 9 car train. From the amount of people I see buying coffee I would say this is loosing CIE money

    Catering is the concern of Rail Gourmet; Irish Rail have it franchised out to them for some time now.


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