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Commuters stranded as Irish Rail fails to cope with August storm

Fine Gael TD for Dublin South, Peter Mathews, has today described the three power outages on the DART line during yesterday’s blustery weather conditions, as a clear example of how Irish Rail is failing the taxpayer with its inability to operate a functioning rail service and cope with adverse rain and wind conditions.

“DART commuters are becoming more and more accustomed to breakdowns, signal failures and power failures, and not just when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Yesterday, there were three failures affecting passengers on an August day when the country experienced storm-like wind and rain across the country, leaving a large number of commuters stranded with no way of getting home. These failures were not all weather-related, but were due to Irish Rail’s inability to operate a functioning rail service.
“A power outage during rush hour yesterday evening, saw a train full of commuters left stranded for nearly 50 minutes due to a fallen tree. Passengers were told to vacate the train and to instead to board Dublin Bus which would accept their tickets. Unfortunately for many of these passengers, passing buses were full and were unable to facilitate the extra commuters in many cases.
“This is becoming a disturbing and all too frequent occurrence. Last winter, rail lines were flooded in places where flooding is both endemic and preventable by good engineering work. And despite installing a new signalling system, purchasing new carriages and refurbishing existing carriages €“ all at the taxpayers’ expense €“ Irish Rail is consistently failing to operate a functioning rail service on two simple north-south and east-west rail lines. The London Underground, in comparison, operates approximately 700 stations and about a dozen rail lines.
“This is not to mention the frequent absence of ticket counter staff at nights and at weekends and the casual attitude to fare collection.
“Winter will soon be here and for the sake of the thousands of commuters who use Irish Rail on a daily basis, I am calling on the management to address the serious failures it regularly experiences.”

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