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'It's an absolute nightmare': Dart driver on the fear of hitting people on the tracks

A new video shows how dangerous crossing the tracks can be.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

A NEW CAMPAIGN by Irish Rail is aiming to highlight the dangers of people trespassing and crossing train tracks.

A video released by the train service shows people at Kilbarrack Dart Station in Dublin crossing the tracks when they believed no trains were nearby.

People walk down a slip ramp near the end of a platform and cross over to the other side.

In one case, a man narrowly avoids being hit by the Dublin to Belfast Enterprise train by a split second in December of last year. The Enterprise regularly speeds through Kilbarrack Station at speeds of 140 km/h.

Other clips show a couple and a man carrying a small child across the tracks.

The footage was released in order to highlight how dangerous trespassing on train tracks can be.

For Dart driver Aidan Martin, people crossing tracks at stations is one of the biggest worries he faces while working. He said driving through Kilbarrack Station in particular was one of the worst parts of the job.

“Kilbarrack for drivers is becoming a nightmare,”  Martin told TheJournal.ie.

“Without being dramatic, it’s an absolute nightmare.

Every time you’re coming into the station… you just don’t know what’s going to happen.

He thinks that the easy access to crossing the tracks at Kilbarrack is likely the reason for so many incidents at the station. But he also said he can’t understand why people would put their lives at risk.

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“I’m from the area myself and it’s a great area.

But there’s some minority that cross. It’s so dangerous.

Near miss

Martin (42) has been a driver on the Dart line for 10 years. His daily route stretches from Greystones in Wicklow to Howth and Malahide.

He said he’s had a number of near misses over the years, where his train has been close to hitting people.

“From a driver’s perspective, it’s really difficult,” he said.

“If you see someone too late, there’s nothing you can do.

It can get to you after a while, and you can question that aspect of doing the job. Every day it goes through your mind.

Martin said he knew of one driver who had left the job as he couldn’t handle the stress of potentially hitting someone.

Martin also said that anti-social behaviour along the Dart line is a big issue for drivers.

According to Irish Rail, there were 32 ‘category 1′ near misses on train lines in 2016 which required drivers to hit the brakes to avoid hitting a person.

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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