COMMUTERS travelling to Kerry by rail last Friday were forced to complete the final stages of their journeys by bus after problems beset two separate trains.
Problems began for passengers on the Dublin Heuston to Tralee 11am service at Mallow when the train's braking system developed mechanical troubles.
And, further disruption occurred when the Dublin Heuston to Tralee 7pm service was cancelled due to flooding between Farranfore and Tralee, necessitating the transfer of passengers by bus.
Jane Cregan, Corporate Communications Executive, Irish Rail, confirmed to The Kerryman that the service between Dublin and Kerry had experienced difficulties on two occasions last Friday, which forced passengers to complete their journeys by road transfer.
She said that the earlier train had "developed mechanical problems" while extremely heavy rain in Kerry on Friday had caused flooding between Farranfore and Tralee.
The earlier train departed Heuston Station on time and arrived at Mallow Station as scheduled at 1.25pm. However, the service which was due to depart Mallow at 1.30pm, failed to do so due to mechanical problems with the train's brakes.
Passengers were left sitting on the train at Mallow for over 40 minutes before Irish Rail personnel made an announcement to passengers at 2.10pm that the remainder of the journey to Banteer, Millstreet, Rathmore, Killarney, Farranfore and Tralee, would have to be made by bus.
Columnist with The Kerryman, Michael Commane, was a passenger on the train and he described the events as they unfolded.
"The doors of the train were closed and the air conditioning was not working. 1.45pm and still not a move. People were beginning to get 'edgy'," he said.
"Circa 1.50pm the driver did tell us that there was a problem with the braking system on the train. Modern trains use an air brake that requires the brakes building up air in the system.
"Our train was not managing to do that so there was no way we could move off," Michael explained.
Mr Commane said while certain passengers were put out by the interruption to their journey, others took it all in their stride.