NEW quieter Irish Rail carriages for Cork passengers have been unveiled in an effort to combat antisocial behaviour on the Cork to Dublin Heuston line.
The purple carriages were introduced yesterday “both to improve services for customers with sensory issues, and to provide choice to all customers, following public feedback”, said a spokesperson.
National Bus and Train Union (NBRU) head Dermot O’Leary said its members should have been consulted first. He said he also had concerns that trains and buses still do not have a dedicated Garda unit assigned to protect workers harassed and intimidated during the course of their work. “We’re disappointed they announced it before they came to us directly,” said Mr O’Leary.
A meeting between management and union members is planned this week to discuss the issue.
Mr O’Leary said there are “capacity issues” on the Cork to Dublin line, depending on the time of the day.
“We also have antisocial behaviour that our members have to grapple with on a daily basis.
"The NBRU has campaigned for a dedicated Garda unit, and that campaign has not gone away. We’re still talking to politicians and asking that it be raised.
“Of course, the concept is more than welcome. Anything that makes the journey on an Irish Rail service or any public transport service a more pleasant experience is welcome, but we’re not sure the time is right for this, based on the capacity of some of the services and, more worryingly, the issue of antisocial behaviour has not been dealt with yet.”
A spokesperson for Irish Rail said: “We are delighted to bring back the option of a quieter carriage on our Heuston to Cork services.
"This quieter carriage will not only be popular with those who have sensory challenges, but also for those who wish to relax and enjoy their journey without excessive use of mobile phones or other devices, or who may have some work to do, which requires quietness.
“The quiet carriage (carriage G) is now bookable online for the first time, and the carriage is clearly marked with quiet carriage purple branding when booking online and also on the outside of the carriage.”