Irish Rail says it plans to replace and upgrade all its lifts over the next five years

Disability activists have recently highlighted that many lifts are out of service for long periods of time,

IRISH RAIL PLANS to replace and upgrade lifts at all Dart and commuter rail stations over the next five years. 

A tender issued by the company this week outlines plans to install 28 new lifts and upgrade a further 112 lifts across Irish Rail’s network between 2020 and 2024. 

In recent years, disability activists and commuters have accused Irish Rail of not caring about accessibility, with lifts repeatedly out of service for long periods of time. 

Data released by Irish Rail to Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy in November on out of service lifts at Dart and commuter stations revealed the scale of the problem. At several stations lifts were out of service for more than 20 consecutive days.

Under Irish Rail’s plan:

  • 28 new heavy-duty, stainless steel lifts will be installed at 19 stations.
  • 112 lifts at 58 stations will be upgraded with new operating systems.
  • New escalators will be installed at Pearse, Connolly and Dún Laoghaire.

It is estimated that lift upgrade works over the next five years will cost €12 million. 

New lifts are required at the following stations; Skerries, Dún Laoghaire, Balbriggan, Ballybrophy, Templemore, Thurles, Monasterevin, Athlone, Ballinasloe, Laytown, Drumcondra, Malahide, Connolly, Longford, Charleville, Salthill & Monkstown, Seapoint and Bray. / YouTube

Recently, disability activists claimed the issue of out-of-service lifts is “getting worse” at Dart stations.

On one day in November, Access for All Ireland said there were 11 Dart stations where lifts were out of order. 

The campaign group said that this was the biggest number of lift outages they had ever recorded. 

At the time, Bernard Mulvany, from the campaign group, said that problems were getting worse despite persistent assurances from Irish Rail. 

“It’s a horrendous issue,” he said. 

The data provided by Irish Rail shows a number of outages in Drogheda station in 2018, most for more than 20 days consecutively, with a lift out of service almost every day of the year. 

  • In Athenry in January this year a lift was out of service for 27 days.
  • In April a lift in Ballinasloe was out of service for 14 days.
  • At Seapoint station a lift was out of service for 26 days.
  • In Gort, a lift was out of service for 21 consecutive days. 

A spokesperson for Irish Rail said it aims to have a contractor in place for upgrade works by this summer with works due to commence later this year. 

With reporting from Michelle Hennessy 

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