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Irish Rail exposé in Tribune

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  • Registered Users Posts: 79 ✭✭Maverick88


    There is now serious consideration being given to extending the life of the HST/IC125 in the UK for another 15- 20 years. Plans are being worked up for a major refurb programme of the MK3's to include power doors (which UK MK3's dont have) and controlled emission toilets. Should these plans come to pass it could be a useful time for IE to consider refurbing their Mk3'S- if they decide to do this due to economy of scale.

    However, eyes are being cast on IE's surplus Mk3's and there have been several comments recently regarding the availibility of them.

    As I mentioned on the MK3 thread the issue of a bogie swap is not a huge problem as their are spare Driving Van Trailers from the West Coast Main Line they have been stored for several years and there is a surplus of catering vehicles that will have no further use all sitting on BT10 bogies.

    The issue of different voltage wouldn't be an issue as with a full refurb this matter could be dealt with.

    Anyone who doubts the suitiblity of MK3's should check out the Mk3's recently refurbed for Wrexham, Marylebone, Shrewsbury Railway (WMSR) or the recent standby rake Virgin has placed in service, the Pretendalino set as its been dubbed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,479 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    Maverick88 wrote: »
    the Pretendalino set as its been dubbed.

    :D:D:D
    Genius


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 ✭✭✭Transportuser09


    It was reported on another site that at one stage Irish Rail were looking at refurbishing some mk3s - even Barry Kenny has suggested in his recent letter that some may eventually be used on the Enterprise - but there is simply no funding available to do this. So, as it stands, we can't really expect the company to undertake such a program if they have no way of funding it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,575 ✭✭✭lord lucan


    Karsini wrote: »
    Same here. Might see you there. :)

    I'll be the one in the anorak with the marmite sambo's.;)


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


    It was reported on another site that at one stage Irish Rail were looking at refurbishing some mk3s - even Barry Kenny has suggested in his recent letter that some may eventually be used on the Enterprise - but there is simply no funding available to do this. So, as it stands, we can't really expect the company to undertake such a program if they have no way of funding it.
    Darn! They don't have €10m half way through the spending of €1,000m+ on rolling stock.


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


    Victor wrote: »
    Darn! They don't have €10m half way through the spending of €1,000m+ on rolling stock.


    Of course not. Sure the DOT specifically told them you can have hundreds of millions for rolling stock but it can only be spent on new trains.:D Just like the track upgrade, the DOT said get that track up to date, but don't dare attempt to renew it in a way that will allow for increased speeds. Irish Rail are not responsible for any of this.:rolleyes:


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Isn't this something to do with NIR? The DRD not willing to contribute?


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 ✭✭✭Transportuser09


    Karsini wrote: »
    Isn't this something to do with NIR? The DRD not willing to contribute?

    Yeah you're probably right there. A cross border service like the Enterprise would require approval from both governments for funding.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭dowlingm


    To be clear - I have no specific problem with binning the 3As as nonstandard. I was just surprised at what was said about their service life.

    With Lord Adonis pushing expansion of rail but UK plc being stuck for cash, it wouldn't be the most surprising thing ever to see some stock being bought, rewired and rebogied, assuming they could be commissioned as "UK" Mark 3s and thus grandfathered for vehicle standards purposes.

    However, I think the only we will see expansion of Enterprise will be if the service is franchised out to Branson or FirstGroup so that adding equipment and staffing is not at the whim of two funding-starved state companies.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,373 ✭✭✭✭foggy_lad


    Ok then refurbish the mark3's but at least make the arm rests movable and put more comfortable seats into them and newer toilets and more legroom. Also proper air-conditioning and heating that can be turned on or off. Then em something about the ride quality as they are far worse than the cork/belfast trains and will never be as good as the new railcars.


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


    foggy_lad wrote: »
    Ok then refurbish the mark3's but at least make the arm rests movable and put more comfortable seats into them and newer toilets and more legroom. Also proper air-conditioning and heating that can be turned on or off. Then em something about the ride quality as they are far worse than the cork/belfast trains and will never be as good as the new railcars.

    The ride quality issues have far more to do with the state of the track and the permanent way than the train.

    The Mark 3 coach is recognised as having pretty much the best ride quality around.


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


    foggy_lad wrote: »
    Ok then refurbish the mark3's but at least make the arm rests movable and put more comfortable seats into them and newer toilets and more legroom. Also proper air-conditioning and heating that can be turned on or off. Then em something about the ride quality as they are far worse than the cork/belfast trains and will never be as good as the new railcars.

    Purely for the sake of giving an example of what a MK3 upgrade looks like. Have a look at the interior shots of both standard and first class on this video.



    Of course the upgrade in the UK was made easier in economic terms because of the standard Inter City 125 set up. (no moving a loco) But can anyone say if they use refurbed MK3 coaches on loco hauled trains?


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


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    Of course the upgrade in the UK was made easier in economic terms because of the standard Inter City 125 set up. (no moving a loco) But can anyone say if they use refurbed MK3 coaches on loco hauled trains?

    Not that I am aware of DW.

    They've all got a spruce up now - National Express East Anglia, Wrexham & Shropshire, First Great Western sleeper, Virgin "Pretendalino" (the backup set), as have all the IC125 operators (First Great Western, East Coast, East Midland Trains, Grand Central).

    Chiltern are planning refurbished Mark 3 services between Birmingham Moor Street and Marylebone.


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


    KC61 wrote: »
    Chiltern are planning refurbished Mark 3 services between Birmingham Moor Street and Marylebone.

    Meanwhile Barry Kenny and the lads are tearing the same coaches apart with diggers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,461 ✭✭✭popebenny16


    foggy_lad wrote: »
    Ok then refurbish the mark3's but at least make the arm rests movable and put more comfortable seats into them and newer toilets and more legroom. Also proper air-conditioning and heating that can be turned on or off. Then em something about the ride quality as they are far worse than the cork/belfast trains and will never be as good as the new railcars.

    to answer your points:

    The mark 3's have as much legroom as the ICRs. Their seats were mroe confortable. The new ICR's suffer from many breakdowns in Air Con and heating - and they are brand new. Ride quality is track related not the carraiges and for someone to honestly come on here and say that the Enterprise is better than a mark3 really is losing the plot.

    Incidently, the Enterprise sets, even though they are ten years younger, now need their refurb and it is happening. Funny that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,373 ✭✭✭✭foggy_lad


    KC61 wrote: »
    The ride quality issues have far more to do with the state of the track and the permanent way than the train.

    The Mark 3 coach is recognised as having pretty much the best ride quality around.
    DWCommuter wrote: »
    Purely for the sake of giving an example of what a MK3 upgrade looks like. Have a look at the interior shots of both standard and first class on this video.



    Of course the upgrade in the UK was made easier in economic terms because of the standard Inter City 125 set up. (no moving a loco) But can anyone say if they use refurbed MK3 coaches on loco hauled trains?
    those old carriages while mustering up some nostalgia are not at all comfortable and the armrests attached to the seats are so uncomfortable they dig into you causing bruising! and from your youtube video this isue is not addressed by a refurbishment.

    also the legroom while maybe technically greater feels much less due to the seating position forced onto passengers by the static armrests.

    and i agree that the new carriages suffer terribly from fairly major faults including the smoke alarms in the toilets being set off by the hand dryers but i would also say that most of the faults are caused by irish rail staff not using the facilities properly like yesterday the driver on the 17.00 from sligo made an announcement but we could not hear it because the speakers were not loud enough oh he was holding the mic too close or too far from his mouth, also several new trains i have been on recently have had more than one panel loose and "flapping in the breeze" due obviously to some maintenance person not doing their job properly, this leads to even more damage to trains!

    the rot is in irish rail not in the shiny new trains!


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,479 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    foggy_lad wrote: »
    those old carriages while mustering up some nostalgia are not at all comfortable and the armrests attached to the seats are so uncomfortable they dig into you causing bruising!

    only if you're fat
    :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,461 ✭✭✭popebenny16


    foggy_lad wrote: »
    those old carriages while mustering up some nostalgia are not at all comfortable and the armrests attached to the seats are so uncomfortable they dig into you causing bruising! and from your youtube video this isue is not addressed by a refurbishment.

    also the legroom while maybe technically greater feels much less due to the seating position forced onto passengers by the static armrests.

    and i agree that the new carriages suffer terribly from fairly major faults including the smoke alarms in the toilets being set off by the hand dryers but i would also say that most of the faults are caused by irish rail staff not using the facilities properly like yesterday the driver on the 17.00 from sligo made an announcement but we could not hear it because the speakers were not loud enough oh he was holding the mic too close or too far from his mouth, also several new trains i have been on recently have had more than one panel loose and "flapping in the breeze" due obviously to some maintenance person not doing their job properly, this leads to even more damage to trains!

    the rot is in irish rail not in the shiny new trains!

    I have no nostalga for anything railways connected, and many of the posters here will tell you that. I also have no love for replacing kit that could have been refubished to a standard as good as the new ICR, which are already failing.

    IE have no argument on this - by using them on Enterprise, by offering them for sale, by using them on the IRRS trip they are admititng they should be good enough to use.

    But then you have them, along with BAC in the toher thread, simply admitting defeat and wiping out lines instead of actually doing investment that would be tangible, like running the trains at a time that suits more people.

    But that is another thread. Maybe IE have delibaratly allowed the branch lines to wither so they can be sacrificed to the DoT for cost cutting allowing them to avoid the Cork line at all costs.

    When this is over there may be sod all left.


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


    I have no nostalga for anything railways connected, and many of the posters here will tell you that. I also have no love for replacing kit that could have been refubished to a standard as good as the new ICR, which are already failing.

    IE have no argument on this - by using them on Enterprise, by offering them for sale, by using them on the IRRS trip they are admititng they should be good enough to use.

    But then you have them, along with BAC in the toher thread, simply admitting defeat and wiping out lines instead of actually doing investment that would be tangible, like running the trains at a time that suits more people.

    But that is another thread. Maybe IE have delibaratly allowed the branch lines to wither so they can be sacrificed to the DoT for cost cutting allowing them to avoid the Cork line at all costs.

    When this is over there may be sod all left.

    Its a shocking pity that people think if you support the retention and refurb of older coaches, then you are full of nostalgia. The MK3 coaches weren't part of my childhood. It was the much older crap, that I was glad to see gone. Even the refurb of some MK2 coaches didn't impress me. Interestingly the 0 series of the Japanese Shinkansen trains lasted from the 60s until the middle of the last deacde. Of course the EMU type operation was decided back then and its been that way ever since. Here in Ireland we have moved from steam to diesel locos, experimented with DMUs, maintained loco hauled and now we are back to wanting it all DMU. Somebody somewhere in CIE made a bags of it over the years as the decision making process has been somewhat inconsistant. Its also apparent that the locos we did buy were far from suitable. If Im not mistaken, engineers from GM were horrified at the speeds we ran the 071 class at. Okay theyve given years of service, but wrecked the track.Then there's the HEP issue on the Enterprise. The loco hauled argument from IE in terms of the MK3 stock is fair enough. They have now decided that they want a railcar culture. But what annoys me is how they can spend huge sums of money on new stuff and not spend a much more moderate sum (as well) on refurbing the MK3 stock and examining ways to convert it to railcar operation. Then you have a large modern fleet at a lower cost and enough trains when needed. It also means that you get the best value for money out of what was originally spent on the MK3 order.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,373 ✭✭✭✭foggy_lad


    if the markIII's could be converted somehow into railcars and have those awful armrests removed they would be perfect for lines like cobh-cork and middleton-tralee and even hueston-newbridge and connolly-dundalk/drogheda


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


    foggy_lad wrote: »
    the rot is in irish rail not in the shiny new trains!
    So, you agree that shiny new trains will solve nothing until there are management and maintenance attitude changes?


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


    foggy_lad wrote: »
    if the markIII's could be converted somehow into railcars and have those awful armrests removed they would be perfect for lines like cobh-cork and middleton-tralee and even hueston-newbridge and connolly-dundalk/drogheda
    If you are going to spend €100,000-300,000 per carriage on refurbishment (against maybe €1-2m new) you can pick any arm rest you want.

    Refurbishment would see:
    Inspection
    Anti-corrosion work to frame
    Repairs / replacement of some panel work
    Upgrade to safety equipment
    Possible general re-wiring
    Possible push-pull re-wiring
    Toilet retention tanks
    New interiors
    New seating (or certainly new cushions, arm rests and trays)
    New luggage racks
    Repaint

    I was on a refurbished DART the other day and it was perfect - especially good were the automated announcements - perfectly clear and not in anyway intrusive.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    Its a shocking pity that people think if you support the retention and refurb of older coaches, then you are full of nostalgia. The MK3 coaches weren't part of my childhood. It was the much older crap, that I was glad to see gone. Even the refurb of some MK2 coaches didn't impress me. Interestingly the 0 series of the Japanese Shinkansen trains lasted from the 60s until the middle of the last deacde. Of course the EMU type operation was decided back then and its been that way ever since. Here in Ireland we have moved from steam to diesel locos, experimented with DMUs, maintained loco hauled and now we are back to wanting it all DMU. Somebody somewhere in CIE made a bags of it over the years as the decision making process has been somewhat inconsistant. Its also apparent that the locos we did buy were far from suitable. If Im not mistaken, engineers from GM were horrified at the speeds we ran the 071 class at. Okay theyve given years of service, but wrecked the track.Then there's the HEP issue on the Enterprise. The loco hauled argument from IE in terms of the MK3 stock is fair enough. They have now decided that they want a railcar culture. But what annoys me is how they can spend huge sums of money on new stuff and not spend a much more moderate sum (as well) on refurbing the MK3 stock and examining ways to convert it to railcar operation. Then you have a large modern fleet at a lower cost and enough trains when needed. It also means that you get the best value for money out of what was originally spent on the MK3 order.

    You're bang on here. The 071s had to be temporarily stopped in the mid 80s due to bogie damage from 90mph operation. The bogies had to be modified to handle the higher speeds. CIÉ's problem was that they always purchased "mixed traffic" locos, neither freight nor passenger oriented but ok-ish with both. Which is why we have 112 ton locos running at 100mph on the Cork line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭dowlingm


    The 3s are longhaul cars with doors at each end. Frequent stop routes like Cork-Midleton are better off with the commuter railcars like 2600s with 1/3 2/3 doors.


  • Registered Users Posts: 79 ✭✭Maverick88


    KC61 wrote: »
    .

    Chiltern are planning refurbished Mark 3 services between Birmingham Moor Street and Marylebone.


    Chiltern will be using Class 67 loco's at one end with a DVT at the other end. The same set up as the WSMR. Both use Class 67's from DB Schenker. Chiltern, WSMR and DB Schenker are all part of DB as they are all part of DB.

    Chiltern are likely to have the first Mk3 refurb with a pilot vehicle in 2011.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭dowlingm


    The problem really is the lack of a plan with follow-through. Because IE is a political entity it is wholly dependent on the good will of government, and has been clearly shown the composition of this government is not the deciding factor. You would have expected Sean Barrett Blueshirts to be knocking holes in carriages, not tofu muncher Greens.

    The notion of using Mk3s as commuter trains was an extension of the existing production line in Inchicore and therefore local jobs, and even then they cheaped out on the electrical generation side (thus no aircon). Using end-door 22Ks to replace the PPs should have rang alarm bells because there was no similar rationale to buy local and only a marginal incentive to take an option on them when (as NIR did) they could have bought 4000s with 1/3, 2/3 doors from CAF, or electrified Maynooth early.

    The UK TOCs are easier to understand in their thinking but that's because they lease their trains and the lessor has more incentive to ensure that scrappage is done at the appropriate point in life expectancy, and more to the point that their lessees keep up with preventative maintenance.


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


    Maverick88 wrote: »
    Chiltern will be using Class 67 loco's at one end with a DVT at the other end. The same set up as the WSMR. Both use Class 67's from DB Schenker. Chiltern, WSMR and DB Schenker are all part of DB as they are all part of DB.

    Chiltern are likely to have the first Mk3 refurb with a pilot vehicle in 2011.

    The Wrexham - Shropshire line had class 67s at both ends at one stage, right? And the MK3 refurb now includes the building of DVTs? I think thats correct.


  • Registered Users Posts: 79 ✭✭Maverick88


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    The Wrexham - Shropshire line had class 67s at both ends at one stage, right? And the MK3 refurb now includes the building of DVTs? I think thats correct.

    DW, you're correct in that they started with a 67 at each end, however the plan had always been that DVT's would be added once they had been refurbed.

    They are using some of the Mk3 DVT's I mentioned earlier in this thread that had been used on the West Coast main line, however since the Pendolino came along they've been littering (and some 20 or so still litter) an ex MOD base

    They shared this site for some time with a considerable number of redundant MK 3 carriage's.

    Indeed Porterbrook, one of the rolling stock leasing companies (ROSCO's) announced that scrapping of the Mk3's would commence as one wanted them. However a few years later and the situation has been reached where there are very few MK3's to be had and now eyes are looking west at the IE Mk3's.

    Those Wrexham line MK3's were over a year late from the refurbishment at Axiom Rail (yet another DB company). During the initial stage of operation WSMR was using hired stock which has only recently gone back to its owners


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


    dowlingm wrote: »
    The problem really is the lack of a plan with follow-through. Because IE is a political entity it is wholly dependent on the good will of government, and has been clearly shown the composition of this government is not the deciding factor. You would have expected Sean Barrett Blueshirts to be knocking holes in carriages, not tofu muncher Greens.

    The notion of using Mk3s as commuter trains was an extension of the existing production line in Inchicore and therefore local jobs, and even then they cheaped out on the electrical generation side (thus no aircon). Using end-door 22Ks to replace the PPs should have rang alarm bells because there was no similar rationale to buy local and only a marginal incentive to take an option on them when (as NIR did) they could have bought 4000s with 1/3, 2/3 doors from CAF, or electrified Maynooth early.

    The UK TOCs are easier to understand in their thinking but that's because they lease their trains and the lessor has more incentive to ensure that scrappage is done at the appropriate point in life expectancy, and more to the point that their lessees keep up with preventative maintenance.

    The Inchicore MK3 production line in the 80s and conversion of the final batch to commuter use was because the Government refused funding for a completely different order of commuter railcars. I'll give CIE/IE that much. There was no extension as such. What was converted to commuter use was meant to be for Intercity, so older stock could be retired. (hence it had a lower spec) Now one could say that CIE/IE were negligent in how they approached the issue. Up to that point the focus was on replacing Wooden bodied stock as a result of three significant inter city accidents. (Wexford/Cork/Kildare) The Government shelled out for Inter City and then CIE/IE broke their silence mid order about the desperate state of loco hauled services on Maynooth and Northern line commuter. But the cupboared was bare (apparently) and the remaining MK3 order was changed to off load crappy stock from the Northern commuter line in particular, and ended up as the PP stuff, with a crappy old 121 class loco at one end. Now maybe the Government thought that the DART had solved commuter issues and herein lies another example of possible poor communication between CIE/IE and Government. Either way a fortune was spent on MK3s and busy lines still suffered. I blame both Government and CIE/IE management. It puts weight on your plan with a follow through.

    But all of this was in a time when money couldn't over rule the stupid political sensibilities that were rampant between Government and semi state. The last 12 years is a different story and the very fact that the poor mouth mentality was carried over into that period, is perhaps part of the reason why the network is not as good as it should be.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,373 ✭✭✭✭foggy_lad


    Victor wrote: »
    So, you agree that shiny new trains will solve nothing until there are management and maintenance attitude changes?
    the shiney new trains wil make a massive difference until they are a few years old and irish rail maintenance has them as knackered as the markIII's but for now we the passengers are just delighted to have nice trains to get around in but irish rail in its present form is not a company with any future,

    the staff couldn't care less and the management are all over the place bickering with each other over speed restrictions stolen sleepers staff monitering and surveilance etc while anything they buy for use on the rails turns to sh1t, they have signalling thet freezes in winter and is not a bit waterproof when it rains and now we see it also cant handle a good summer! irish rail is doomed and should be wound up with the management charged with misappropriation of government funds and a new railway started from scratch maybe by some promising german company?


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