Irish Rail have asked for customer feedback on their draft 2013 timetable changes for the rail lines serving Heuston Station, Dublin. Heuston Station is an end of line station (no through services) and serves commuter and intercity routes to the South, South West and West of Ireland. If you wish to review the 2013 Irish Rail timetable, and give your own feedback you can click the link here.
The draft changes in the timetable are quite limited, journey times will improve slightly, and there will be some extra train services. However the vast majority of these extra services favour two specific train stations in County Laois and one in West Kildare. There will also be some service cancellations on the Nenagh and Waterford lines.
Underused station? Looking at the draft timetable it is interesting to note that the train lines and the station itself seem underused. For instance only 8 train services arrive at the station between 8am to 9am, which is the morning peak. On the other hand even less services leave the station. For instance only 9 train services are scheduled to leave the station in the 3 hour period between 6 am and 9 am. This seems a quite limited train service frequency for a main city train station with 8 platforms and one which recently had quadrupedal tracks installed for the initial 16 km run from the station.
Punctuality. No mention is made of whether the scheduled services will become more punctual. At present Irish Rail only consider a train service to be late if it is 10 minutes outside of its scheduled arrival time. But they have often have problems even meeting these loose limits. See below a photograph I took of a train arrival screen at Heuston Station last week. This photograph is not a very good advertisement for taking the train and it suggests if you do, you should take the earlier service to ensure you arrive on time.
I have commented myself on the timetable and asked Irish Rail to consider among other things to increase the connectively of train services, which remains poor for the Galway and Waterford services and also asked that the 3 carriage trains be increased to 6, to increase capacity at peak times.