On-board catering services will finally return to some Irish Rail services from the end of March, it has been confirmed.
The on-board trolley service was withdrawn three years ago due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and did not resume after the contract with train catering service RailGourmet was terminated.
The Dublin to Cork line, which also serves Portlaoise, Portarlington, Thurles, Limerick Junction and Mallow, will be the first to have sales of food and drinks return from next month, it was announced.
Fianna Fáil transport spokesperson James O’Connor confirmed the news, having been assured by Irish Rail CEO Jim Meade that services will be reinstated on a phased basis.
This followed a meeting between TDs, senators and Mr Meade in Leinster House yesterday to discuss the ongoing expansion of rail services.
“I’m delighted that Irish Rail has confirmed restoration of on-board train catering will be taking place in the coming months,” Mr O’Connor said.
“On-board services were deeply missed by those who are regular commuters on Irish Rail services so this is very welcome news.
The provision of late-night services and increasing the overall rail funding in Budget 2024 was among the topics also discussed at the meeting.
It was also confirmed that increased capacity would likely take more than a year when new trains arrive in Ireland in the second quarter of next year.
“There is the potential for up to three new trains per month to commence delivery into Ireland next year, with a major recruitment programme under way to hire new drivers and service personnel.” Mr O’Connor said.