Tourist train ‘needs a better pick-up point’

Tourist train ‘needs a better pick-up point’

Operator of the new tourist street train, Pat Flynn, is in talks with City Council about moving the pick-up point from George’s Quay to a busier high-visability location. Picture: Dan Linehan

CORK city’s tourist train isn’t attracting customers from its allocated start point on George’s Quay, according to the vehicle operator Pat Flynn.

Mr Flynn says he is in talks with Cork City Council about the vehicle’s departing location.

Yesterday Mr Flynn said: “I'm talking to the council about the train at the moment and that’s all I can say at the moment, we are in discussions with Cork City Council on the positioning of it.

“The route is fine it’s just the operating position. “I’m down on George’s Quay, do you see many tourists down there?

“We need a good catchment - it works on people being able to see it and then they’ll buy on impulse but if you're hidden away on a back street nobody would see you.

“I have very poor passenger numbers in George’s Quay which was expected and I had very good passengers numbers up on the Grand Parade.” Services have not been disrupted and the train is expected to operate as normal from today.

A notice on the Cork City street Train website this week read:

“The train needs to be provided with a commercially viable position to work from and George’s Quay does not provide for that.” The notice said that when the project was initiated, the train’s start location was Grand Parade; since then it has started at different points including South Mall, Parnell Place and now George’s Quay.

“I found that there were no train customers there, so I had to go up to the Grand Parade to get some customers and bring them back to the start position on George’s Quay - if only to help with paying some of the bills.” 

The train operator claimed that a traffic warden told him to leave Grand Parade and return to the train’s allocated start point.

“The train stayed on the quay for a few hours and with nobody turning up we took it out of the city.”

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