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Irish Rail planning to upgrade or replace lifts and escalators at 22 stations this year

Disability activists have in recent years highlighted that many lifts are out of service for long periods of time.

IRISH RAIL PLANS to upgrade or replace lifts and escalators at 22 stations this year. 

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. 

In a statement today, Irish Rail confirmed a total of 22 stations – 10 in Dublin city and county and 12 in the wider network – will see lift and escalator replacements or system upgrades between now and the end of this year. 

Heavy duty stainless steel electric traction lifts will be installed at the following nine stations: Templemore, Thurles, Ballybrophy, Laytown, Leixlip Louisa Bridge, Monasterevin, Tullamore, Athlone and Ballinasloe. 

11 other stations will benefit from modernisation, including lift control systems, water ingress prevention works, new roller shutter assemblies and other system improvements, Irish Rail said. 

Dublin’s Connolly and Pearse stations will see escalators replaced. 

A ‘Lift Call’ system will also be rolled out by Irish Rail, which it said will ensure lifts are monitored by CCTV to prevent access to those who seek to vandalise or damage equipment. / YouTube

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

On one day in November 2019, 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. 

Irish Rail said customers of reduced mobility will be advised of alternative arrangements to ensure continued access to services while works are take place at lifts and escalators at individual stations.

Irish Rail chief executive Jim Meade said: “With new trains and station enhancements planned, accessibility will be central to the design of all improvements we deliver under the National Development Plan.

“However, improving the reliability and performance of our existing lift network is crucial to ensure customers with reduced mobility have confidence in using our services. 

“While it is unavoidable that the works themselves will result in lifts being temporarily out of service, we have arrangements in place at each of the stations affected to maintain access to services during the works.”

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