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The JOKE that is Irish Rail!!!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 992 ✭✭✭fh041205


    You might want to read my post again because you have mis-quoted (and therefore misinterpreted) at least one part of it. Like i said both valid complaints but why are you disgusted at barriers not working. Its a very slight inconvenience at worst. Simply ask the IR person on duty to let you through.

    Its also inconvenient to have to move someone from your seat because the displays aren't working, this I agree with. Still its hardly disgusting nor dire practice. IR deserve their fair share of criticism but this is ridiculous. What outcome do you expect to get by posting in a 2 month old thread about these things?

    Now if you're willing to actually discuss this and stop picking fights over spelling mistakes and whether words are words, then some mutual respect might indeed emerge.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 295 ✭✭Jayeire


    Poor customer service, as I mentioned in my first post was what I was referring to. If the attendant was looking at me (which he was), then it was his job to approach me not vice-versa. I've worked in customer service for many a year.
    And yes I do believe it is dire, if I went online to specifically reserve my seat and this seat was not displayed as reserved then my time has been wasted. Of course there was no ticket inspector/ no rail staff on board to discuss this with and information booth was not open in my home station. I reserved my seat to avoid hassle. Maybe you should stop belittling others points and just respect where they are coming from.
    The thread is called "the joke that is irish rail" so I felt it was entirely appropriate to post here.
    I would hardly dub my complaints as ridiculous and for you to say such is an insult


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 112 ✭✭ow2h7nft1me9i4


    I think you are right to be very annoyed over what happened. It might seem like small things but when you pair them with the fairly terrible service from most of the staff at the station (and what you said you mentioned in your first post) it can add up to a pretty bad experience.

    Having to ask somebody to move from your seat is also an added annoyance considering the idea of reserving a seat is to be garaunteed having one waiting for you when you get on the train, especially when you have to explain to people that the seat is reserved, and I'm sure alot of people dont even know that seats can actually be reserved in the first place. I

    And it is a thread about "the joke that is Irish Rail". So people definetly have every right to share in detail the experiences they had, even though some people may think otherwise...


  • Registered Users Posts: 992 ✭✭✭fh041205


    I'm arguing against your points because I don't agree with you. Just because I disagree doesn't mean I don't respect you. You booked a seat, you got a seat. Alls well that ends well no? If the train was full, you would have got a seat while others would not. Therefore you got exactly what you paid for.

    I can't believe your blaming IR for you wasting 5 mins using a machine that didn't work. The fact that the machine was not working is IR fault. You may of course b;ame them for that. The fact that you spent 5 mins trying to use it instead of asking for help is your fault.

    Do you honestly think that a broken ticket machine and an out of order display makes IR a disgrace??? Its a problem and an inconvenience, but is not disgraceful.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 295 ✭✭Jayeire


    I don't actually believe I mentioned the word disgrace.

    At least you understand my points this time though. Alls well that ends well, it didn't quite end well. The man that was in my seat got quite hostile because I asked him to move and he said he'd just encountered this a few minutes ago.

    Again, help should have been offered. I was using the ticket barrier that was 3 away from the attendant that was blatantly watching me for God's sake. If he knew they weren't operational, any of them, it was his obligation to inform me immediately. IrishRail should of had a sign informing passengers of the new machines, anything is better than nothing.

    The Irish Rails Customer Charter itself states the following:

    We know how important it is that you receive a satisfactory service from our staff at all times.

    So we expect our colleagues to:

    * be polite and helpful


    Now what I experienced was in direct conflict with that. He was neither "polite" nor "helpful" in the least. So yes, once again I'll say IrishRail is to blame for that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,616 ✭✭✭maninasia


    fh041205 wrote: »
    I'm arguing against your points because I don't agree with you. Just because I disagree doesn't mean I don't respect you. You booked a seat, you got a seat. Alls well that ends well no? If the train was full, you would have got a seat while others would not. Therefore you got exactly what you paid for.

    I can't believe your blaming IR for you wasting 5 mins using a machine that didn't work. The fact that the machine was not working is IR fault. You may of course b;ame them for that. The fact that you spent 5 mins trying to use it instead of asking for help is your fault.

    Do you honestly think that a broken ticket machine and an out of order display makes IR a disgrace??? Its a problem and an inconvenience, but is not disgraceful.

    It is disgraceful customer service...what else could it be described as?


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


    fh041205 wrote: »
    So in short, the barriers weren't working and your name wasn't displayed above your seat.

    Both valid complaints. But hardly show stopping stuff. Why be so pernickity about it. If it were me, and I booked a seat and got to my destination I wouldn't see a problem.
    fh041205 wrote: »
    You booked a seat, you got a seat. Alls well that ends well no? If the train was full, you would have got a seat while others would not. Therefore you got exactly what you paid for.
    How do you work that out?
    You reserve a seat, the seat isn't reserved. If the train is full, you don't get a seat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 992 ✭✭✭fh041205


    MOH wrote: »
    How do you work that out?
    You reserve a seat, the seat isn't reserved. If the train is full, you don't get a seat.


    He DID reserve a seat. The display was not working but this person still had a seat reserved. He has a receipt for payment and probably a prepaid ticket (which don't actually work in the machines) which would confirm this. Talk about mountain out of a molehill people. There are plenty of things about IR which re worth discussing but these things really aren't.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭djpbarry


    Jayeire wrote: »
    Attempted to use the barrier today.. after 5 mins, and my ticket getting stuck the most informative rail attendant that had been watching me the whole time informed me that they weren't working.
    So after five whole minutes of attempting to validate your ticket, you still needed a staff member to inform you that the barrier was not operational? Because it probably would have taken me about 10 seconds to realise there was a problem.
    Jayeire wrote: »
    Further barriers would not work...
    “Further barriers”? How many times to Irish Rail require you to validate your ticket these days?
    Jayeire wrote: »
    Platform of my train was not displayed on the timetable, nor on the main concourse.

    Reserved seats only to find a man sitting in my friends seat. And had to explain to him why IrishRail hadn't yet put our names above the seats in the LED panel.
    I trust you have contacted Irish Rail about all of the above?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,894 ✭✭✭Terrontress


    djpbarry wrote: »
    So after five whole minutes of attempting to validate your ticket, you still needed a staff member to inform you that the barrier was not operational? Because it probably would have taken me about 10 seconds to realise there was a problem.

    As a mod of Green Issues you are probably big in to Public transport when you are not driving a Prius or something. Not all of us are so Green as you.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 78,316 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Jayeire wrote: »
    Platform of my train was not displayed on the timetable, nor on the main concourse.
    Did you see the bit saying that platform numbers aren't displayed until X time before train departure?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I'd be a bit iffy about using the emergency cord for something like this. I was once on a train from Mallow to Dublin which stopped for 45 minutes because someone pulled the cord - they had to reset the whole braking system. There's intercoms in the toilets, maybe use one of these instead? Still, the whole "penalty for improper use, €500" bit would put me off even trying.

    The catering situation isn't really Irish Rail's fault anymore, they subbed it out to Rail Gourmet so they'd be responsible, its their staff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,548 ✭✭✭kingshankly


    As of interest when you found your seat occupied was there many available seats


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 295 ✭✭Jayeire


    Victor wrote: »
    Did you see the bit saying that platform numbers aren't displayed until X time before train departure?

    The platform still wasn't displayed when the train pulled in, nor was it on the sign that was just beside the platform it ended it up pulling into.
    As of interest when you found your seat occupied was there many available seats
    No there were not many available, irrelevant anyway seeing as the point of a reservation is to have ones seat reserved

    If I'd wanted to sit in an unreserved seat, then I obviously would not have made a reservation.
    So after five whole minutes of attempting to validate your ticket, you still needed a staff member to inform you that the barrier was not operational? Because it probably would have taken me about 10 seconds to realise there was a problem.

    It's great to hypothetically place yourself in my situation, so many thanks for that... I never stated that I didn't realise there was a problem. I did indeed realise, yet persisted in my attempt to put my ticket through as the attendant was observing me so I assumed I was doing something wrong, as he didn't budge nor did he state otherwise. He was three barriers away, and could easily have opened his mouth to say something.
    I trust you have contacted Irish Rail about all of the above?
    Thanks for the link, but I'm going to write a letter to them tomorrow. http://www.railusers.ie/ states that a letter has a higher chance of getting a response.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 118 ✭✭StephenM_smc


    Jayeire wrote: »
    The platform still wasn't displayed when the train pulled in, nor was it on the sign that was just beside the platform it ended it up pulling into.

    Did the train pull onto the platform shortly before the departure time? Before the new barriers went into action trains typically sat at the platforms or arrived some time before boarding. I haven't been using the train as much since the barriers came into operation so I don't know what its like now.

    Also how did you find out which platform the train was departing off in the end?
    Jayeire wrote: »
    I did indeed realise, yet persisted in my attempt to put my ticket through as the attendant was observing me so I assumed I was doing something wrong, as he didn't budge nor did he state otherwise. He was three barriers away, and could easily have opened his mouth to say something.

    They should have intervened sooner, would have given them some credit for having good customer service!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 295 ✭✭Jayeire


    Did the train pull onto the platform shortly before the departure time? Before the new barriers went into action trains typically sat at the platforms or arrived some time before boarding. I haven't been using the train as much since the barriers came into operation so I don't know what its like now.

    Also how did you find out which platform the train was departing off in the end?

    Train pulled in about 10-15 minutes before hand I think. The third rail attendant I asked (other two didn't know at all) said I should "try" the platform further down on the right hand side and I might be lucky. I asked a lady in front of me if she knew if it was the waterford train, to which she replied that she hoped so, but she didn't know either. The name wasn't displayed on the train wen i was getting on either.:confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 992 ✭✭✭fh041205


    Jayeire wrote: »

    Thanks for the link, but I'm going to write a letter to them tomorrow. http://www.railusers.ie/ states that a letter has a higher chance of getting a response.

    Oh dear, railusers.ie rears its ugly head again:rolleyes:. I think its just the right place for your complaint.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 295 ✭✭Jayeire


    fh041205 wrote: »
    Oh dear, railusers.ie rears its ugly head again:rolleyes:. I think its just the right place for your complaint.

    Why would my complaint go to railusers.ie ? Bit of a silly thing to say. And railusers.ie happens to be quite a beneficial resource actually.

    What is the basis for your comment anyway? Why discredit railusers.ie, seems totally unfounded.


  • Registered Users Posts: 992 ✭✭✭fh041205


    Believe me you couldn't be more wrong and you will discover this in time. Relying on them for information is a big mistake in my experience. But thats for another time and another thread.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 118 ✭✭StephenM_smc


    Jayeire wrote: »
    What is the basis for your comment anyway? Why discredit railusers.ie, seems totally unfounded.

    I was a paid up member of rail users Ireland some time ago. I stopped frequenting their forums and using their information after finding my own opinion of what's reasonable to expect from Irish Rail and a rail users group no longer tied in with what they offered. There is some reasonable information on their site, but I've lost interest in supporting them.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    The barrier and reservation system in Heuston is as big a load of bollix as it ever was ( c 1987)

    On a friday it is still a matter of wait to find out where the train is any way you can and CHAAAAAAARGE , except that in the 1990s we were spoiled because the Galway train was named Cu Na Mara while they all look identical ( bar Cork) nowadays :(

    Same as always though, once do I get on it I don't CARE if there is a seat . I am aboard .

    WHHEEEEEEEE!


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭djpbarry


    Jayeire wrote: »
    I never stated that I didn't realise there was a problem. I did indeed realise, yet persisted in my attempt to put my ticket through as the attendant was observing me so I assumed I was doing something wrong, as he didn't budge nor did he state otherwise. He was three barriers away, and could easily have opened his mouth to say something.
    And all I’m saying is that I find it hard to believe that this little stand-off lasted five whole minutes – I think you’re exaggerating.

    But on the subject of attendants, I actually worked as an attendant at a barrier (of sorts) one summer many years ago. During the course of this work, I learned that it was often not a good idea to intervene whenever a customer was having difficulty (unless asked to do so), as it turns out that a fairly large number of people react in a pretty negative manner when you imply that they are incapable of figuring out how to use a relatively simple device.
    Jayeire wrote: »
    Thanks for the link, but I'm going to write a letter to them tomorrow.
    Fair enough.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,894 ✭✭✭Terrontress


    I dislike this attitude people have that all is well that ends well.

    It's the little things that make the difference.

    People on here constantly say we are lucky when we compare fares with mainland Europe but at least it all seems to work there.

    Exactly how much do Irish Rail want before they'll give us working reservations, available catering on Inter-City for the duration of the journey, helpful staff, clear information.

    Another €10 per journey? €15?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 216 ✭✭Sharlovesjohn


    Can't believe the prices of their tickets 43 euro return to Westport for an adult !
    I normally have a student travel card but it ran out and because I don't have Septembers card yet I can't apply for it, While Bus Eireann which I also think is over priced accepts normal college student cards so a return from them is only 25 euro but their times do not meet my needs leaving on a Friday at 5 from Dublin is really unfair.


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


    fh041205 wrote: »
    He DID reserve a seat. The display was not working but this person still had a seat reserved. He has a receipt for payment and probably a prepaid ticket (which don't actually work in the machines) which would confirm this. Talk about mountain out of a molehill people. There are plenty of things about IR which re worth discussing but these things really aren't.

    If you reserve a seat and the train is full and you don't get your seat, a receipt or a ticket with your seat number aren't much good if the person sitting in your seat refuses to move.

    I can see it from their point of view - they get on in good time and sit in a seat with no reserved sign, someone else gets on and claims they've reserved that seat, by that time there might be no other seats left to move to.

    If you leave it and sit in another seat, then you could end up facing the problem that the person with that seat reserved gets on and asks you to move.

    And there's generally no IR staff around to sort any of it out. Not that they're any help - I booked seats before and found people in them, who moved to the seats opposite us. When I told the ticket checker that the seats hadn't been reserved he told me it wasn't possible to reserve seats on that line, which made me look like an idiot to the people who had moved, and was also a blatant lie. Irish Rail, as usual, just cherry picked the bits of my complaint letter that they wanted to respond to.

    It is a disgrace. Irish Rail are a shambles, incapable of following their own passenger cahrter on a regular basis.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 ✭✭✭KC61


    Jayeire wrote: »
    Looks like the new ticket barriers are now installed in Heuston. BUT.... don't expect them to work... nor expect a standard apology for a delay in service.
    Attempted to use the barrier today.. after 5 mins, and my ticket getting stuck the most informative rail attendant that had been watching me the whole time informed me that they weren't working.
    How nice of him to tell me after he observed me trying for 5 minutes. Customer service, yeah right.
    That was only the start of a VERY bad experience with IrishRail.
    Platform of my train was not displayed on the timetable, nor on the main concourse. Further barriers would not work, more rude staff. Reserved seats only to find a man sitting in my friends seat. And had to explain to him why IrishRail hadn't yet put our names above the seats in the LED panel.
    .......Our names weren't displayed for the entire journey. So reserving my seat had been pointless....Even though the helpful (...) staff ensured me that it would indeed show up.
    Utterly disgusted.

    I can understand how you might be frustrated by your experience. However, there are a couple of points that need to be made:

    1) Seat reservations do not work in the ticket barriers and there is a large sign indicating that passengers with such tickets should go through the gate beside where the barrier operator stands where he will let you through.

    2) Platform numbers for trains are not shown anymore on the departure boards until they are ready to commence boarding. Again there is another sign on the main departure board indicating this. This is common practice in Britain also - people wait on the main concourse until the platform is announced on the departure board. Even though the train may have arrived, the staff may have to do a brake test or other pre-departure checks/cleaning that is easier to do without having passengers on the platform.

    3) Where I think you have a valid point is the lack of seat reservation displays on board the train. This is something that Iarnrod Eireann have still not got right and where they do let themselves down as an organisation. It can happen that when a train arrives in late with a very short turnaround time that there is not sufficient time to get this done, but that should be the exception to the rule. Passengers should not have to argue with other passengers with regard to pre-booked seats and it is something that the company needs to focus on, as too often there are reports on this and other sites of the seat reservation system not working. It is often the little things that annoy people the most and as with most businesses, the devil is in the detail.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 ✭✭✭KC61


    Can't believe the prices of their tickets 43 euro return to Westport for an adult !
    I normally have a student travel card but it ran out and because I don't have Septembers card yet I can't apply for it, While Bus Eireann which I also think is over priced accepts normal college student cards so a return from them is only 25 euro but their times do not meet my needs leaving on a Friday at 5 from Dublin is really unfair.

    Hopefully with the new timetable with the additional services on the Mayo route (increasing to five trains per day from 3) that I understand are being introduced you may have more options to use the cheaper online fares.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,894 ✭✭✭Terrontress


    KC61 wrote: »
    I can understand how you might be frustrated by your experience. However, there are a couple of points that need to be made:

    1) Seat reservations do not work in the ticket barriers and there is a large sign indicating that passengers with such tickets should go through the gate beside where the barrier operator stands where he will let you through.

    2) Platform numbers for trains are not shown anymore on the departure boards until they are ready to commence boarding. Again there is another sign on the main departure board indicating this. This is common practice in Britain also - people wait on the main concourse until the platform is announced on the departure board. Even though the train may have arrived, the staff may have to do a brake test or other pre-departure checks/cleaning that is easier to do without having passengers on the platform.

    3) Where I think you have a valid point is the lack of seat reservation displays on board the train. This is something that Iarnrod Eireann have still not got right and where they do let themselves down as an organisation. It can happen that when a train arrives in late with a very short turnaround time that there is not sufficient time to get this done, but that should be the exception to the rule. Passengers should not have to argue with other passengers with regard to pre-booked seats and it is something that the company needs to focus on, as too often there are reports on this and other sites of the seat reservation system not working. It is often the little things that annoy people the most and as with most businesses, the devil is in the detail.

    Points 2 and 3 seem to refer to each other. They don't put the platform details up so they can get the train ready. And then when you get on, the train ISN'T ready!

    There are countries and companies all round the world running trains with reservations and catering. Why can Irish Rail not attempt to emulate them? It is hardly like they are breaking new ground with allowing passengers to book a seat!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 ✭✭✭KC61


    Points 2 and 3 seem to refer to each other. They don't put the platform details up so they can get the train ready. And then when you get on, the train ISN'T ready!

    There are countries and companies all round the world running trains with reservations and catering. Why can Irish Rail not attempt to emulate them? It is hardly like they are breaking new ground with allowing passengers to book a seat!

    I agree with you!

    But there can be exceptions where a train arrives into the platform late, and getting it turned around as fast as possible becomes the main objective. I suspect in those circumstances uploading seat reservations falls down the list of priorities. I'm not saying that's right and it isn't but I suspect that getting the train back out of the station while causing minimal disruption to other services becomes the overriding objective!

    I've done a fair amount of travel in other countries also, and I've seen this failing elsewhere, but it happens a little bit too often on Irish Rail.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 118 ✭✭StephenM_smc


    Can't believe the prices of their tickets 43 euro return to Westport for an adult !
    I normally have a student travel card but it ran out and because I don't have Septembers card yet I can't apply for it

    If you got your card September last year, it should last until December 31st. Normally the are Jan-December cards but the next years card is sold from September onwards, giving a full 16 months worth of use. Even if you use the train twice in the next month it'd nearly be better for you to get a new card before September (Providing the trips are to Westport).


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