DART Upgrade – oh dear me what dreary stations.

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    • #708020
      dc3
      Participant

      A rare trip on the DART Northbound this morning revealed much work, recent and ongoing, at the outer Stations on the system.

      Almost all seem to have got new “facilities”, well mostly new concrete wall lined ramps, all in that shade of fresh white concrete that screams “Add graffiti to me, please”. Adonised lamposts, easy to mark with markers or paint, hard to clean (should anyone ever bother). Perhaps the ravaged earth will be landscaped, or even planted sometime, but do not hold your breath. Even on a bright sunny day it was so dismal. Lots of money spent.

      Waiting rooms, and whole station platforms, without any seats.
      (All DART users are fully able bodied now? or intentionally designed to be wino unfriendly?)

      And palisade fencing everywhere.
      If you want a real treat, see Bayside or Howth Junction.

    • #760154
      Morlan
      Participant

      And the southside.. poor old Shankill station, an awful building. I was hoping they’d knock it down. Somebody tried to burn down the temporary access ramp a few weeks ago – can’t wait to see what the scumbags do when everything is finished. There’s plenty of CCTV cameras that aren’t caged and easily accessible. Not to mention the highly graffitiable new signage.

      Why is it that Dalkey and Gleanageary get nice patterned brickwork on the platforms and the rest of the stations get the old dollop of tarmac?

    • #760155
      kefu
      Participant

      The same reason that the footbridge over the Stillorgan dual carriageway at Foxrock is made of gorgeous stone and the rest of them look like temporary military Bailey bridges.
      Also the same reason why the southside has two Luas lines with none on the northside.
      Equally, the same reason that the Kildare commuter line has only two stops in West Dublin and half the trains don’t stop there.

    • #760156
      Anonymous
      Participant

      The fact that Iarnrod Eireann are only on very rarely required to apply for planning permission for many of their developments is entirely obvious from the resultant design quality. I would imagine that IE must use more pallisade than any other body in the state in proportion to the holdings that they have.

      The most revealing thing I saw was a timber signal box on the Sligo line with a pvc window replacement; they urgently need to review their approach to what is almost exclusively an urban design environment.

    • #760157
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Agreed that the DART stations are now as ugly as they are utilitarian. Not the slightest dart ๐Ÿ™‚ of imagination anywhere, and crude unfinished furniture by the bucketload.

      And on a related issue, what does everyone make of the new eh ‘colour scheme’ of grey and, well, more grey?!
      Tara Station is now like a morgue, and many others aren’t much better.

      I must admit to liking the newly painted Dundalk Station though that has had the green changed to grey and the white detailing changed to a strange buttery colour. This seems to be the scheme IE have adopted for the next 5-8 years or so for the Eastern Lines – bit unconventional, not sure what to make of it, though I suspect it’s going to get tired very quickly, particularly the acres of sheet metal in Tara St which looks ghastly already.

      Is the DART green dead now for stations?

    • #760158
      Morlan
      Participant

      I don’t know why they changed it to hospital grey, I preferred the green. Wasn’t everything dark blue at one stage a long time a go? And now the signage is black and orange for English and Irish.. There’s a design flaw in that the orange text vanishes at night because of the sodium lighting, you can barely read it.

    • #760159
      dc3
      Participant

      One of the many easy to write on all new concrete walls.
      With no seats in the shelter but with advertising, curiously appropriate, on the roof.

    • #760160
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well thats what you get when the government gives Irish Rail the minimum cash required. You want decent looking stations, you need more cash. So get on the governments back, not Irish rail. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • #760161
      sw101
      Participant

      it must be said the luas stops are almost invariably well put together. the one at charlemont is great, right over the canal.

    • #760162
      Richards
      Participant

      Connolly Station which received a major re-vamp some 6 years ago looks the worst for ware. The tiles are in terreble nick and are also dirty. All the walls are dirty and painted in that “Battleship Grey” paint. The render is also very basic and unimaginative. In any other country, a major city centre train station which had a restoration / upgrade six years ago would still be gleeming. Comeone IE, Clean the place

    • #760163
      dc3
      Participant

      @weehamster wrote:

      Well thats what you get when the government gives Irish Rail the minimum cash required. You want decent looking stations, you need more cash. So get on the governments back, not Irish rail. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      This country was never so wealthy, yet we produce more uglyness on the railways now than when we were poor.

      So money is not the problem.

    • #760164
      Anonymous
      Participant

      The broad fiscal position is in a fair condition but the way that a lot of this money is spent is extremely poor value for money Michael McDowells wife Prof Niamh Breanan described the problems at the dept of Health as so widespread and diverse that there were not one or two solutions she described the healthcare system as being akin to ‘a sieve’ with money leaking all over the place. The dept of transport budget is highly skewed in favour of the roads programme with massive cost over-runs on most projects eating up virtually all the resources. The money that IE receive are the crumbs from the table so to speak and I would wonder if the revenues raised by CIE on of all the property disposals actually exceeds the total expenditure into new capital works and if so by what factor.

      There has been talk about track works; almost all of this expenditure can be put down to the esat contract and mini ctc scandal which cost a massive amount of money and the damage done to the lines laying the cables would have resulted in the EU closing many sections of the network had a schedule of works not been agreed.

      There has also been talk about a new fleet much of this was required as part of ongoing fleet replacement due to the age of much of the fleet such as cravens from the Todd Andrews era and Mark 11 which were introduced in the early 1970’s. The last major commuter expansions undertaken were the Kildare line in 1994 and the twin tracking of the Maynooth line both done quite a while ago.

      The RPA managed to drive the cost of Luas from 300m to in excess of 800m taking yet more from the rail budget and are talking about 100m for a 1kms route to link the lines they decided wasn’t necessary to do in 1997.

      CIE have a culture of acting like the poor man because they have never been funded correctly since their inception in 1945, they have never accepted the concept that they are custodians of important built heritage in many cases and merely viewed their building stock as facilities as TCD have done with much of their building stock.

      What CIE need to do is to appoint a conservation officer or architect who has a sense of the architectural and heritage value of much of their building stock. CIE appear to be the polar opposite of much of the built environment in that stations generally get better the further you get from Dublin.

    • #760165
      emf
      Participant

      I noticed that Connolly station became dilapidated very quickly after the upgrade a few years ago.

      The tiling that was laid dosen’t seem to have been appropriate for a busy train station. The tiles seem too small for the scale of the building and many of them cracked soon after being laid. They also became very slippy when wet and I noticed that Irish Rail had to put ‘temporarily’ permanent orange plastic warning signs down along the platform. (Heuston station got lovely granite tiling during it’s upgrade).

      The plastering on the walls, especially down the exit stairs, became filthy very quickly and a lot of cracks developed on the walls beside the escalators.

      I have heard the argument before that it’s a busy station with thousands passing through it everyday so what can you expect.
      However Heuston is probably busier and I have always found that to be in pristine condition.

      Irish Rail completed a bit of a revamp lately after the Luas opened. They have tiled a lot of the walls and it looks much better. Well done on that! The same tiles remain on the floor though and the toilets are terrible. Only as a last resort would anyone use them!

    • #760166
      JJ
      Participant

      @Thomond Park wrote:

      The RPA managed to drive the cost of Luas from 300m to in excess of 800m taking yet more from the rail budget and are talking about 100m for a 1kms route to link the lines they decided wasn’t necessary to do in 1997.

      Sorry Thomond Park whilst I agree with your other comments expressed in your post I have to challenge you on perpetuating this old myth and maybe starting a new one.

      The RPA did not drive the cost of Luas up as you state. As has been well publicised the Luas design was changed by governement ministers and the final cost is in line with the actual approved tender figures. What was costed back ion the late 90’s is very different to what was finally approved and built. It is certainly arguable that the final cost was too high and perhaps the monies could have been better spent elsewhere.

      The same applies to the “Link” between teh lines. The RPA’s predecessor who designed the original Luas lines ( CIE as it happens ) included the link. Again it was the government ministers who decided it was not a necessary part of the system following intense lobbying from business interests in the city centre and Oh yeah the great idea to build an underground section in the city centre. They were the ones who insisted it be removed. CIE actually had to recind the Railway order application as a result. Lets make sure the correct culprits are identified and blaimed.

      On the actual subject of Irish Rails designers I know some of them personally having been tutored in college by their Chief Architect many years ago. I have some sympathy for them as they are forced to work to awful budgets but I find their detailing crude and harsh, its possible to use cheap materials but still achieve a reasonable aestethic. A lot of the new stations feel intimidating and unfriendly and easy maintenancea and vandalism resistance seem to be winning out.

      jj

    • #760167
      Anonymous
      Participant
    • #760168
      Rory W
      Participant

      @emf wrote:

      However Heuston is probably busier and I have always found that to be in pristine condition.

      Connolly is far busier than Heuston, Connolly having a Dart line running through it as well as mainline (Belfast, Sligo, Wexford/Rosslare Europort) , northern commuter (drogheda, Dundalk), southern commuter (Gorey, Arklow etc) and western (Maynooth) commuter lines!

    • #760169
      urbanisto
      Participant

      I agree that the ‘renovation’ of the station was hopelessly unambitious. It deserved much better. I hate the ‘new’ layout and that awful cheap rendering effect. The poor design of the downstairs tunnel is dreadful. No space for retail units, no life, no activity except for the masses rushing by. The facade in particular looks dreary and grimey and as usual the maintenance has been let lapse. Even the paving and lighting outside says nothing for such a major entry point into the city. The Luas stop is fine but its missing the line of trees originally planned (and provided for). They would certainly help break all that grey granite. And is it really acceptable in 2005 for a mainline railway station to have a large billboard attached.

    • #760170
      emf
      Participant

      The ESB sub station set into the stone wall close to the large billboard is very ugly and appears to have been left unfinished! It’s in a very prominent position as people cross the traffic lights from Talbot St!

    • #760171
      Anonymous
      Participant

      let’s not forget broombridge. that station does look terrible. everytime i pass through the place it looks like it needs a makeover. it needs a bit of attention too. i know it’s not a dart station but still.

      ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #760172
      urbanisto
      Participant

      ……….

    • #760173
      urbanisto
      Participant
      emf wrote:
      The ESB sub station set into the stone wall close to the large billboard is very ugly and appears to have been left unfinished! QUOTE]

      But unpainted galvenised steel is the new black. Everybody’s doing it!

    • #760174
      PTB
      Participant

      Waiting at Booterstown station recently, for a train that eventually never came, I saw a half finished foot bridge.No work was going on and it was all boarded up like work had just been abandonded. Despite being all white and shiny it was a kinda depressing site. The rest of the station seemed derilect and dead-did’nt even feel like a train station even though all the train stations were upgraded a few years ago.

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