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Irish Rail Knowingly Overbooking Trains

CptSternn

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May 4, 2010
Messages
3,949
'The kids were all over the place screaming': Children’s special needs group left crammed into corridors for three-hour train journey home after Zoo trip

A children’s special needs group has said it was left crammed into the corridors of train on Monday, despite organising their seats three months in advance.

A group of 48 people, including 16 children with special needs and four wheelchair users from ÁIRC Mayo– Supporting Children with Disabilities, made the nightmare journey on Monday to visit Dublin Zoo.
This is not surprising. This has been happening for years. As a regular rail customer I see this weekly. They sell yearly tickets for commuters. Then they sell tickets online. If the train gets filled online you still have dozens of ticket holders unaccounted for on that same train. Irish Rail fix the problem by, no joke, leaving off the names over the seats because if they turned them on everyone would know the train was overbooked. This leads to a situation where yearly ticket holders take half the seats on a train which are already pre-booked and dozens of people who pre-booked end up standing in the aisles.

I see this weekly. Not only that, fights break out. No one stops them. I almost came to blows with a group of drunks who took a table that was booked by myself and three other random people all who arrived and asked them politely to leave. They started going on about how they pay a yearly fee and they were not going to stand all the way from Dublin to Portlaoise. They threatened the other passengers whose seats they had taken and it was quite a mess. We all decided to walk away but it could have been a massive brawl had it been other people unlike ourselves who were just returning from work still in our shirts and ties just trying to get home to our families.

It's astounding this is allowed to happen, and disgusting that the same yearly commuter ticket holders who routinely take pre-booked seats would treat disabled children like that. Not surprising though as they behave like this on a daily basis. Since there is absolutely no security on the trains and usually not even an employee other than the girl with the snack cart there is no repercussions. With absolutely nothing to stop them and no fear of even being asked to move the yearly commuters pretty much act like they own the train and Irish Rail doesn't say boo.

One would hope a story like this would cause them enough embarrassment that they would look into taking some action against such people and of course insure every time people board the train pre-booked seats are properly displayed, but after five years of watching the this same situation unfold and the same people routinely abuse other passengers and steal their prebooked seats with absolutely no repercussions I'm not holding my breath here.

Anyone else out there have to deal with this on a regular basis?
 


sadcitizen

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Sep 27, 2011
Messages
4,330
Do yearly ticket holders not have to book tickets online still?

Surely this could be solved by simply ensuring that yearly holders make use of their pre-bookings, and charge people who don't use their bookings. Then just...let people on to capacity.
 

Seanie Lemass

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Nov 26, 2010
Messages
20,159
Used to be a weekly occurrence for me ten years ago and more going up and down to Wexford. Weekends in Summer were absolute hell. Overpacked trains with lots of nasty scum heading to Courtown. Just started to get the bus instead even though it was longer journey and around the same price. Seems they haven't changed much!
 

Wagmore

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Joined
Sep 17, 2015
Messages
12,400
The lack of security is a major part of the story. If you have no-one onboard to enforce the system, all hell breaking out is always a possibility. People who abuse the system are nearly always more likely to get violent if rumbled or confronted. Reminds me of the time back in the day when I had the physique to confront people who used to smoke on buses and Dart despite it being banned. Everytime I did it I knew I needed to be prepared for a scrap breaking out. And nearly everytime it did. Shocking that the same disregard for customers security still pertains today. Easy to see why the threat of suing for personal injury is only thing that these type of operations understand. Wonder what that chirpy PR fecker that used to frequently chew the fat with Hook has to say about this
 

tsarbomb

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Jun 25, 2013
Messages
4,987
Never came across it before. Do people with yearly tickets still have to book before hand?
 

good dog

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Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
2,555
Is anyone sparing a though for the train drivers here? Train drivers are gutted over the the wage gap between them and luas drivers being so reduced.
Irish rail does not exist for their customers, it exists to serve it's workers only. Customers are an inconvenience.
 

Eire1976

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Nov 20, 2010
Messages
14,195
It's down to OAP's getting free travel, they just turn up and can go on.
 

Watcher2

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May 2, 2010
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34,456
'The kids were all over the place screaming': Children’s special needs group left crammed into corridors for three-hour train journey home after Zoo trip



This is not surprising. This has been happening for years. As a regular rail customer I see this weekly. They sell yearly tickets for commuters. Then they sell tickets online. If the train gets filled online you still have dozens of ticket holders unaccounted for on that same train. Irish Rail fix the problem by, no joke, leaving off the names over the seats because if they turned them on everyone would know the train was overbooked. This leads to a situation where yearly ticket holders take half the seats on a train which are already pre-booked and dozens of people who pre-booked end up standing in the aisles.

I see this weekly. Not only that, fights break out. No one stops them. I almost came to blows with a group of drunks who took a table that was booked by myself and three other random people all who arrived and asked them politely to leave. They started going on about how they pay a yearly fee and they were not going to stand all the way from Dublin to Portlaoise. They threatened the other passengers whose seats they had taken and it was quite a mess. We all decided to walk away but it could have been a massive brawl had it been other people unlike ourselves who were just returning from work still in our shirts and ties just trying to get home to our families.

It's astounding this is allowed to happen, and disgusting that the same yearly commuter ticket holders who routinely take pre-booked seats would treat disabled children like that. Not surprising though as they behave like this on a daily basis. Since there is absolutely no security on the trains and usually not even an employee other than the girl with the snack cart there is no repercussions. With absolutely nothing to stop them and no fear of even being asked to move the yearly commuters pretty much act like they own the train and Irish Rail doesn't say boo.

One would hope a story like this would cause them enough embarrassment that they would look into taking some action against such people and of course insure every time people board the train pre-booked seats are properly displayed, but after five years of watching the this same situation unfold and the same people routinely abuse other passengers and steal their prebooked seats with absolutely no repercussions I'm not holding my breath here.

Anyone else out there have to deal with this on a regular basis?
Irish Rail cares nothing for its customers. It does not exist for the traveling public. It is run by and for the employees.

On top of the mess you mention, its key performance indicators are structured to make them look good rather than reflect the reality. They used to measure a train as late if it left the station more than 10 minutes of the time tabled time. In other words, if the train was 10 minutes late as per time table, Irish Rail considered it on time. For the past couple years, that KPI has been moved to 15 minutes. So instead of being a customer centric organisation and attempt to fix the problem and bring in efficiencies, it panders to its employees and allows them slacken off even more. I used get the train daily from Drogheda to Dublin. Meanies a time the train would leave, or pull in, as the case may be from one of the furthest platforms from the station exit/entrance. This can cause a passenger to miss the train when that passenger has to run up the stairs to cross the bridge. Bear in mind that there would be no other trains using the platform closest the station house. Again, employee centric rather than customer centric.

Irish Rail is sh1t. Thankfully I don't have to take the train any longer.
 

former wesleyan

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Nov 29, 2009
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25,974

CptSternn

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May 4, 2010
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Not true. And it's a tenner to book a seat.
No, as I can attest to this first hand as well - OAPs just show up and show the man at the automatic gates their card and they are let on. I also just last year had my seat taken by a large group of OAPs who were taking a day trip with some OAP support group to Cork. They had taken like six tables in a car all in one area, all of which were pre-booked. They then gave the whole 'we are old and in a special support group on a day out' sad tale to everyone including myself who arrived to get their seats only to find these elderly people had robbed them.

They came around and checked their tickets later and every one of them just showed them their free travel pass and that was it.

If you go to the website it says they do not require a ticket, but for €6 they can reserve a specific seat but must have their free travel pass with them and the name they book must be the same as on the card. This is true for anyone with a free travel pass - says it on the Irish Rail website.

That being said at least on the trains I have been on there have been a few OAP many of which have taken peoples seats but not on the same level as taxsaver yearly pass holders. At least the OAPs apologise and move.
 

tigerben

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Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
4,623
Last time I was on a train to Dublin it was OAPs that were sitting in pre booked seats. They then do I'm confused act when told. One OAP man said he sits where he likes and that was that. What's the point in booking seats if it's not enforced.
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Joined
Sep 28, 2009
Messages
11,844
Routine manners and literacy check.

Commendable.
And totally ineffective.

Literacy and manners ensure that you stand all of the way despite paying for a seat.

I dont see anything commendable about letting a gang of drunks dictate your life.
 

Erudite Caveman

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Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
7,470
What's the point in booking seats if it's not enforced.
The point is to give IR employees additional money, so it is a success, every time. They are unconvinced there is any real need to go the extra mile and allow the bookee to actually sit in the booked seat.
 

Felixness

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Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
4,606
Well I'm not surprised at the amount of people booking online. My husband checked the price of a ticket from Limerick to Dublin and the 17.99 price that was listed is what he thought the ticket would cost, until he got to the Station and it cost him 50 something quid. There was nothing on the site to see what the difference in booking online and buying at the station were. That's a ridiculously massive difference in price.
 

stakerwallace

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Joined
Feb 27, 2011
Messages
13,434
Had not been on a train for years until recently and I really enjoyed the trip.
 

Half Nelson

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Dec 12, 2009
Messages
21,733
Or we could build a rail system that actually meets our needs.

Revolutionary, I know.
 

Half Nelson

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Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
21,733
Last time I was on a train to Dublin it was OAPs that were sitting in pre booked seats. They then do I'm confused act when told. One OAP man said he sits where he likes and that was that. What's the point in booking seats if it's not enforced.
IR staff need specialist training in how to manhandle little old ladies.
There should always be at least two burly ticket inspectors present in case Granny lets loose with her umbrella.
 


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