Commuter terror as vandals target trains with bricks
GARDAI are investigating a spate of attacks on packed DART and commuter trains, which have caused €10,000 worth of damage.
Vandals targeted a total of eight passenger trains on Wednesday and Thursday night, bombarding carriages with bricks thrown from nearby scaffolding, which resulted in windows being shattered.
One commuter said passengers were terrified during one attack, especially as the train remained in place and did not move. "The train was stopped outside Connolly Station and the next minute there were four or five thumps at the window," said Ciaran Byrne from Portmarnock.
"It was dark and raining so no one could see anything. Some people ducked down, but the worst thing was the train didn't move for two minutes so there was another couple of thumps and at that stage people were frightened.
"The train then moved and security guards got on at Killester but they knew about it. It was very frightening because if the window broke people could have been injured."
Iarnrod Eireann last night said that although the scaffolding has been in place where the line crosses the Ossory Road for months, the attacks only began on Wednesday night.
"There's been scaffolding there for the last five months, but it's only become an issue recently," a spokeswoman said.
"A total of eight trains have been damaged in the past two nights (Wednesday and Thursday) due to stone throwing. The total cost for repairs is in the region of €10,000.
"Normally when a stone hits, the window shatters. But it's reinforced glass so won't come in on people, but it will give them a fright.
"However, in one instance a stone did come into a train as it come through the emergency window, which are designed to break so people can get out in the event of an emergency. There are two emergency windows per carriage located by the emergency cord."
Ten panes of glass had to be replaced on the eight trains, ranging in cost from €75 to €300 each. A headlamp was also replaced at a cost of €470.
The non-driver side of the windscreen on another train was also damaged, which cost €2,440 to replace.
Labour costs ranged from €85 to €170 per pane, but replacing the windscreen would be more expensive, the spokeswoman added. In all, labour costs are expected to be as much as €4,000.
Additional security staff have now been employed to patrol the track, and gardai in Store Street have been told. The garda press office said the incidents were being investigated.