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off the rails

Irish Rail admits 'teething problems' - but passengers say new timetable 'a disaster' for some areas

Shorter trains are causing problems for passengers on the northside of Dublin.

IRISH RAIL HAS agreed to meet with a group of locals from the northside of Dublin, after admitting its new timetable has led to reduced capacity on some lines. 

A new nationwide schedule came into force yesterday morning. 

Passengers on the Portmarnock and Malahide line in north Dublin say they appear to be bearing the brunt of the problems caused by the new schedule. 

An Irish Rail spokesperson acknowledged today that the company was experiencing a number of “teething problems, particularly with capacity” as a result of the changes.

Residents of Clongriffin, on the Portmarnock and Malahide DART and Commuter line, held a public meeting last night to discuss the impact of the new timetable. 

Local Solidarity councillor Michael O’Brien said people are very annoyed. 

“They’ve spread out the pre-existing carriages so now you’ve shorter trains at peak hours,” according to O’Brien.

He said locals wanted greater investment in the service, and the purchasing of new carriages to meet capacity. Those who attended the gathering last night asked for a meeting with the company to discuss the issues, which has since been granted. 

Passenger representative group Rail Users Ireland has described the first 24 hours of the new timetable as disastrous.

Spokesperson Mark Gleeson said:

An unmitigated disaster probably isn’t strong enough. 

Gleeson said bringing in the new schedule just after schools returned from the summer break was a bad idea. He said passengers feel the change was “sprung on them”.

However he has conceded some services have seen improvements as a result of the new schedule.

It will get better, but clearly  it’s not well thought out. On a positive note if you happen to live on the southside of Dublin you have a better service than previously.

Irish Rail’s spokesperson said in a statement that “the vast majority of the timetable is working very well, but with all new timetables, there can be teething problems and we will work with the NTA to rectify these issues”.

She went on to say they were happy to meet with members of the travelling public to address their concerns and that the company may have to make further adjustments to the timetable. 

A date has yet to be set for Irish Rail’s meeting with Clongriffin residents.  

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