Irish Rail apologises to passengers over four-hour journey delay

Irish Rail apologises to passengers over four-hour journey delay
The train into Kent Station was due at 8.30pm but did not arrive until 12.30am. Pic; Larry Cummins

PASSENGERS travelling from Dublin to Cork spent more than six hours on the train last night after a mechanical failure just outside Limerick Junction.

The 6pm train from Heuston Station was due into Kent Station at 8.30pm but did not arrive in Cork until after 12.30am.

One passenger, Trish McCarthy from Glasheen, said there was very little information made available to passengers on board the train and the toilets were out of order.

And she said snacks and beverages were available in one carriage at one end of the train, instead of a trolley service. This resulted in some older passengers not being able to get refreshments while waiting for the breakdown to be addressed.

A pull cart was eventually brought to the train from Cork, enabling it to continue its journey to Kent Station.

Passengers were given claim forms and advised how to make claims online for refunds.

But Ms McCarthy said that passengers were told when getting off the train that part of the refunds will be in vouchers.

Some people spent more than four hours in the car park of Kent Station, waiting to collect passengers who were on the train.

One woman, Carol Chambers from Farranferris, was waiting for her daughter to arrive from Dublin. She arrived just before 8.30pm to Kent Station and was in regular contact with her daughter on board the train.

Ms Chambers said she remained at Kent Station until around 11pm, concerned that if she went home, she would have to return immediately to collect her daughter. She went home at around 11pm, returning when her daughter informed her after midnight that the train was finally on its way to Cork.

A spokeswoman for Irish Rail said: "A relief engine was dispatched from Cork to link up to the existing engine so that the train could continue onto Cork. The 19:00hrs service was behind the 18:00hrs and the decision was made to put in place special signalling arrangements for the 19:00hrs service to bypass the 18:00hrs as it was going to take some time for the relief train to make its way from Cork.

"Unfortunately, the specially signalling arrangements did not go exactly to plan and it took longer than anticipated to clear section of track. This delayed the arrival of the relief engine at the scene."

She added that a "host" from Irish Rail was aboard the train and regularly made announcements to passengers. However, Ms McCarthy said the announcements were not very clear.

The Irish Rail spokeswoman added: "Complimentary catering was made available, but it may have run out as the delay continued. Customer services staff did meet customers at Cork when the arrived and offered them refund forms. Customers on this service were entitled to a full refund."

She said the company would like to apologise to all their customers for the inconvenience caused.

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