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Cork To Dublin Rural Rail Line Most Delayed This Year

Irish Rail

Back in late November 2019 we raised the issue of the increasing unreliability of Irish Rail on their Cork to Dublin rail line, latter serving Thurles town.

Irish Rail admit that their Cork Kent-to-Dublin Heuston line have had the most delays this year, with almost 14% of train journeys on that route [one of the longest such routes in Ireland at 266 km], being delayed by more than their punctuality target of ten minutes.

The Dublin to Cork line was initially built by the Great Southern and Western Railway (GS&WR), connecting the largest and second largest cities here in the republic of Ireland. Construction first began in 1844, when the GS&WR built a line from Kingsbridge Station (today Heuston Station, Dublin) to Cashel, Co. Tipperary, which they then later extended to Cork city.

Each day, Monday through to Saturday, there are 14 services between Dublin (Heuston) and Cork (Kent), each departing hourly. Similarly, on the return journey there are 15 daily services between Cork Kent and Dublin Heuston, each also departing hourly, with 14 daily departures on Saturday, while on Sundays, travelling Cork Kent – Dublin Heuston – Cork Kent, there exists 10 such services.

Some 14,575 complaints were forwarded to Irish rail by commuters this year, of which 1686 were about seat reservations; while 872 reported issues were with overcrowding. Other complaints raised concerns regarding the temperature of carriages, drug use, intimidation, vandalism, theft, cleanliness and issues around 1st Class status.

Our published report of November 30th last, have already led to several email being received from local rural commuters, mainly students, also complaining about the non-availability of seating accommodation on carriages’ at weekends.

One rather disturbing complaint, however, came from Ms Evelyn Nevin, (Former Thurles Town Councillor & Honours Degree Social Care and Ability Project Co-ordinator), at the RehabCare Resource Centre here in Thurles.

Ms Nevin commented that a ‘Childrens Special Needs Group’ experienced a similar situation failure within Irish Rail last January, akin to our previous report in November 2019. A group of children were being taken on an outing to a “Wild Lights” event at Dublin Zoo. A wheelchair had been booked onto a carriage where no wheelchair space was provided. Staff then wanted the group organisers to leave that child in another carriage on their own. Despite paying nearly €600.00 in advance for reserved seating, no such seating was provided either travelling to or from the event, thus leaving very vulnerable children forced to scatter to find seats throughout various carriages’ on the train, leaving staff minders standing.

Despite communicating RehabCare’s dissatisfaction to Irish Rail chiefs, regarding this unacceptable service afforded to these children; to date, almost 12 months later, no reply, offering any explanation or indeed an apology, has ever been offered by Irish Rail.

Recently, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Shane Ross has announced a €1 billion investment in Ireland’s heavy rail infrastructure to be introduced over the next five years.

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