Possible U-turn for Irish Rail on Longford train carriages

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Irish Rail

Irish Rail bosses look set to make a dramatic u-turn on a recent decision to cut train carriage numbers on a busy evening commuter service in half.

Irish Rail bosses look set to make a dramatic u-turn on a recent decision to cut train carriage numbers on a busy evening commuter service in half.  

The State-owned rail company has come under sustained fire over its move to reduce capacity levels on a 17:15pm Dublin Connolly to Longford service from eight carriages to four.


The company has previously expressed its confidence in meeting demand levels despite the reduction.


Those assurances have failed to dampen ongoing overcrowding concerns raised by both passengers and local politicians in recent weeks.

There has been criticism too at service interruptions and delays, demonstrated by a huge volley of anger on social media in the lead up to Christmas.


Two weeks ago, a number of irate passengers took to twitter to vent their frustration over a delay to a Sunday afternoon Sligo to Dublin service.


But it is the withdrawal of carriage numbers which has sparked the biggest outcry.


Only last week, the Leader told of how Longford Councillors had supported calls to issue letters to both Irish Rail and Transport Minister Shane Ross over the impasse.


They are attempts, together with fresh talks involving Fianna Fáil Longford/Westmeath TD Robert Troy and Irish Rail boss David Franks, which look set to be finally paying off this week.


Mr Troy, Fianna Fáil's spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, hinted this week that a change of heart was in the offing.


"At that meeting I was told Irish Rail would revisit the service to Longford on Friday evening with a view to increasing carriages on it," he told the Leader.


Mr Troy, however, said the "sorry state" confronting Irish Rail officials meant carriage numbers on other routes would likely have to be reduced in order to shore up the Friday evening Longford service.

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