Irish Rail defends lack of St Stephen's Day trains
IRISH Rail has responded to criticism that it does not operate any services on St Stephen's Day, saying the numbers travelling are usually low and do not justify services.
Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan yesterday tweeted: "No trains in Ireland on St Stephen's Day! Unacceptable". He added that he would raise the issue with Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.
Retailers reported their busiest St Stephen's Day sales in six years, with Bus Eireann operating reduced services, as well as Dublin Bus and Luas services operating in the capital.
However, a spokesperson for Irish Rail said the numbers travelling were insufficient to support train services.
"Generally up to this point the numbers travelling on the move are quite low on Stephen's Day. It's not just a case of running the vehicle when you're opening up train services," Barry Kenny told the Irish Independent.
"We've got a whole network to open up and there's a cost base there."
The spokesman said a €74m cut in exchequer funding over the last six years also played a part in the decision. However he added that Irish Rail reviewed its position annually.