Translink talking bull: it’s official…

CONGRATULATIONS to Northern Ireland’s transport company, Translink, which has picked up a Golden Bull award for this gobbledygook: ‘Every Autumn a combination of leaves on the line, atmospheric conditions and prevailing damp conditions lead to a low adhesion between the rail head and the wheel which causes services to be delayed or even cancelled. NI Railways are committed to minimising service delays, where we can, by implementing a comprehensive low adhesion action programme.’ Who should be nominated for next year’s awards? Quotes, please!

  • The Serpent

    Translink can have the life long achievement award also IMHO ! They have only been judged on their official statements and not on the incoherent ramblings and assorted falsehoods of their in-train announcers.

    What about Enterprise for worst mis-nomer award also ?

    And what the FUCK is mechanical knock as why is it the most common cause of delays on the Enterprise according to the translink website ????

    Thats not even the start of it and I haven’t travelled with them for over a year as I’m still getting over it………..

  • BonarLaw

    I’ve always thought a government subsidised train stuffed with expenses paid civil servants and state funded pensioners was as far from the notion of “Enterprise” as one could get. What about “The Dependency”?

  • joeCanuck

    Perhaps we could employ some of the people who used to “know” the line to spread superglue along it. That would solve the adhesion problem in double quick time.

  • Nevin

    ‘Mechanical knock’ can be caused by worn parts in the engine. Then there’s ‘piston slap’:

    “This leads to a condition known as “piston slap” which is when the piston rocks in the cylinder, and it causes an audible tapping noise that continues until the engine has warmed to operational temperatures. These engines should not be revved when cold, or excessive scuffing can occur.”

  • eranu

    maybe translink should suffer some ‘head slap’ ?

  • Hogan

    Do they still leave some of the old trains ticking over all night in case they can’t get them started in the morning?

    That gem came from BBC News expose on them 2/3 years ago along with the fact that some of the rolling stock is so old they have to search eastern european scrapyards for the spare parts.

    You couldn’t make them up.

    And that’s without even getting into the fact that they clearly removed the Crumlin service because too many ‘fenians’ from West Belfast moved out there. What would catholics want with a train service anyway? 😉

  • dewi

    Funny – I think the quote makes perfect sense. I suppose you get used to the jargon. Should they have said “Mushed up leaves cause trains to slip – sorry”?
    (Hospital41 – these passwords have significance)

  • Comrade Stalin

    “knock” is a timing problem in a combustion engine, isn’t it ?

    BonarLaw, as far as I know the Enterprise runs at a profit, and it did so even before the free transport came in. This is not too surprising given the extortionate prices of the tickets; it’s cheaper for me to fill up my car and drive to Dublin than it is to get the standard return ticket there – and what’s more, I’m guaranteed a seat (a real bonus, since on peak Enterprises you could be standing in the vestibules), and I’ll get there quicker than the slow and frequently-breaking-down Enterprise does.

    If there is ever a case of a company needing privatization, Translink is it.

    On a trivia point, the Enterprise is subject to frequent mechanical problems and failures. That’s because, uniquely for trains operating on the island of Ireland, the alternator which provides power in the train (for lighting, aircon, the kitchen etc) runs off the drive shaft on the locomtive, rather than being a separate generator. The continuous load on the diesel engine causes it to fail prematurely. The problem is particularly acute since the Enterprise trains run with one carriage more than was initially specified.

    The last time I was on the Enterprise, about a year ago, it took 2hrs20 minutes to get to Dublin, ten minutes longer than scheduled. In 2000 (after the Central – Central Junction upgrade was completed) they were able to run a service at 1hr50min. So where did the extra half hour go ?

    The Enterprise service is supposed to be a premium service. Instead it’s a joke. They simply wouldn’t tolerate it on the continent.

  • Turgon

    Comrade Stalin,

    You seem to know about this whereas I do not. Please be patient with what is probably a very stupid question.

    I thought the Enterprise was a desiel-electirc whereby electricty was generated to power the wheels and as such is there a drive shaft?

  • dewi

    Please be careful about privatising monopoplies – strategic thinking and actions \investments become irrational.
    (Your53 – no I’m effing not)

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon:

    I thought the Enterprise was a desiel-electirc whereby electricty was generated to power the wheels and as such is there a drive shaft?

    You’re right, it is a diesel electric. Inside the locomotive, the diesel engine turns a big drive shaft. At the other end of the drive shaft there’s a big alternator, which generates the power for traction. There is a secondary alternator on the Enterprise locomotive which generates power for the services on board as well.

    dewi:

    Please be careful about privatising monopoplies – strategic thinking and actions \investments become irrational.

    I used to think the same, then I saw the Luas in Dublin, which convinced me that it is possible for a private sector company to run a transport system cheaply and effectively. There is a lesson to be learned there.

  • Dewi

    CS – trams and stuff in a city competing against buses and walking OK. Strategic All Island (which ever island) stuff been a total nightmare.
    (cases51)

  • Harry Flashman

    *Funny – I think the quote makes perfect sense.*

    My thoughts exactly Dewi, perfectly understandable, is there anyone here who doesn’t understand what is meant by the passage? I’ll be very happy to explain it in words of two syllables or less.

    The campaign for plain English used to be good at ridding jargon from official documents that were to be read by the general public. Now they seem to concentrate on getting their seasonal publicity by citing examples of speech, which to people with a reading age of eight might seem terribly complicated but to those of us who have not succumbed to universal dumbing down, come across as perfectly comprehensible.

    I give by way of examples their citation of Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Gere in recent years.

  • Daisy

    Presumably we can look forward to announcements about snow in winter, birds building nests in spring and sunshine in summer?

  • What’s needed is to separate track operator from train operator (but keeping track operator always in public hands, like the roads) so that if the train operator doesn’t feel like putting on more service, maybe someone else will.

  • Dewi

    “What’s needed is to separate track operator from train operator (but keeping track operator always in public hands, like the roads) so that if the train operator doesn’t feel like putting on more service, maybe someone else will.”

    Precisely the cumnning plan that’s failed so miserably hear. Timetabling and building capacity require a degree of co-operation extremely difficult to create in a competitive environment.