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Over 40 Irish Rail station elevators put out of service by anti-social behavior in 2021

Irish Rail reported more than 500 faults with elevators in 2021 with the majority of those resulting in lifts being unusable.

There were over 40 elevators left out of service due to anti-social behaviour
There were over 40 elevators left out of service due to anti-social behaviour

ELEVATORS AT IRISH Rail stations were put out of commission more than forty times last year because of anti-social behaviour with doors kicked in, ceilings pulled down, and youths deliberately jumping up and down while inside to damage them.

Irish Rail reported more than 500 faults with elevators in 2021 with the majority of those resulting in lifts being unusable, sometimes for just a very short period, but in one case a five-month period of closure.

There were fifty instances where damage to lifts was caused directly by anti-social behaviour, with forty-two of those resulting in an elevator being out of service.

The elevators are a critical source of public transport access for people with limited mobility.

A database of incidents details how two lifts at Hazelhatch Station in Co Kildare were out of commission for 29 and 34 days respectively after being seriously vandalised.

In one case in March, the roof of the elevator was damaged with a ceiling pulled down as Irish Rail said they had “good CCTV images” and gardaí were confident of identifying the culprits.

Another case at the same station, also in March, saw the top floor door of an elevator seriously damaged with a fire extinguisher also destroyed with only “remnants” of it left.

There were five other instances where anti-social behaviour resulted in a lift being out of service for between 12 and 17 days, according to records released under FOI.

In one incident at Dublin Pearse Station, the window of a lift door was kicked in and left lying in the lift shaft.

At Tullamore station in Co Offaly, the steel door skin of an elevator was pulled off and door locks left jammed on the top floor of the lift.

Other incidents included a facemask intentionally stuck in a door to jam it, a bottle smashed against a lift’s mechanism, and another damaged ceiling which Irish Rail were worried could fall on a lift passenger.

In Blackrock Station in Dublin, another incident was logged as: “Spotted on CCTV – 3 youths jumping up and down in lift – caused lift to stop – they pulled open the doors and jumped out of the lift themselves.”

Also listed in the Irish Rail database were chewing gum being deliberately lodged behind a call button, various lift components kicked in, and an incident where a “man shouldered [the] door open while doors were closing”.

Most incidents did not involve anti-social behaviour with faults reported on Irish Rail lifts at the rate of around ten per week.

Some of them resulted in lengthy service issues with one lift in Bray reported out of service for 153 days because doors were not closing fully.

An elevator at Midleton Station, Co Cork was out of action for around a month following an “entrapment” incident, according to the records.

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At Seapoint DART station, a lift ended up out of commission for 24 days after it was damaged by sea water coming over the wall.

Other lengthy service issues included a 21-day fault at Raheny Station in Dublin, an 18-day breakdown at Dun Laoghaire, and a 15-day service issue at Monasterevin in Co Kildare.

Many issues were rectified far quicker however, with the Irish Rail database reporting that well over 300 of the faults were resolved within 24 hours.

A spokesman for Irish Rail said: “While any impact on lift availability is regretted, the records illustrate how we work to respond as quickly as possible to any issues, with the vast majority of issues resolved within the same day or 24 hours.

“It also illustrates the importance of our current lift investment programme – it is crucial that we modernise our lift systems, which were for many years underfunded and impacted by issues including vandalism, water ingress, and other issues.

“A total of 52 stations will see lifts either renewed or upgraded, and we are also extending Lift Call, a system which monitors and controls access to lifts, across the network, to prevent incidents of vandalism.”

About the author:

Ken Foxe

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