Sunday, June 8, 2008

How can you be anywhere at all when you're already in several places at once?

Looking for info on the Lisbon Treaty vote that will take place in Ireland on Thursday, I serendipitously stumbled across a revelation about the Irish railways.

Punctuality, as defined by Irish Rail, means arriving at the destination not later than ten minutes after the scheduled time.

Not on time. Within ten minutes of being on time is what Irish Rail defines as punctual.

How astonishing. The problem is even worse than is immediately obvious, as a glance at the schedule will immediately make apparent. A train leaves Dublin Connolly every morning at 8:27, arriving at Lansdowne Road at 8:36. This is a nine minute journey, one minute less the ten minutes bounded by Irish Rail’s definition of “punctual.” And that means that, as far as Irish Rail are concerned, when the train is still at Dublin Connolly, it is also and at the same time at Dublin Tara Street, Dublin Pearse, Grand Canal Dock and Lansdowne Road. Simultaneously.
Go read the rest.

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