Local Deputies slam Irish Rail for overcrowded carriages

Overcrowding on Irish Rail train services has become an issue of contention in the last week.

The issue was highlighted by Deputies Robert Troy (FF ) and Peter Burke (FG ) late last week, with both Longford-Westmeath representatives writing to the State-owned rail operator after being contacted by constituents.

In a letter to Irish Rail’s chief executive, David Franks, Deputy Troy said passengers on a 7.28am service from Mullingar to Dublin are being forced to stand due to the fact that carriage numbers have been reduced from seven to four.

Deputy Peter Burke also wrote to Mr Franks in relation to overcrowding experienced by customers travelling from Mullingar to Dublin last Friday morning (August 11 ) on the 8.45am service.

Deputy Burke said the large crowd of people waiting on the platform in Mullingar last Friday were surprised to see just four carriages pull up.

“I had a number of people contacting me regarding the service this morning, many sent me in pictures to show the level of overcrowding,” Deputy Burke said. “There was a huge amount of elderly people standing for the hour and a half journey, and there were a number of infants and their mothers standing as well, which is very difficult.

“We were going from there to Maynooth, one of the busiest stations on the line, so you can imagine if it was uncomfortably full before then it must have been far worse with another large influx of people trying to board the train.

“I have issued a letter to the CEO David Franks but am yet to receive a reply. I did hear Barry Kenny of Irish Rail on Midlands 103 this morning and he was saying that the Dublin Horse Show caused an additional influx of people at this time. But they should be aware of these types of events and be able to manage whatever extra traffic that creates. Coming to Mullingar with only four carriages at 8.45am is completely unacceptable.”

Irish Rail apologised for any inconvenience experienced by its customers but refute the claim that there was a health and safety issue.

Deputy Burke has requested a meeting with Mr Franks to discuss the issue.

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