Trains derailed at depot will cost €350,000 to repair
THREE new rail carriages costing €6m will have to be repaired at a cost of €350,000 after they were derailed in a depot.
The accident happened when the carriages were being moved in the Iarnrod Eireann rail depot in Portlaoise, Co Laois.
No one was injured in the incident, which occurred last January.
But the Irish Independent has learned that the final bill for the repair of the damaged undercarriages in all three carriages will run to €350,000.
The repairs are due to be carried out in the coming weeks after a company was selected to do the work, following a public tender.
An Iarnrod Eireann spokesman said yesterday there had been no technical fault with the train, but confirmed that the derailment took place during a shunting manoeuvre in the Portlaoise depot.
A total of 177 new inter-city rail cars were bought three years ago, replacing the older, slower trains. Each new rail carriage cost €2m.
The new carriages, which were manufactured in Korea, are fitted with automatic PA and information display systems.
They also have electronic seat reservation displays for web bookings and are fully air-conditioned.
An internal CCTV system has also been introduced to improve passenger safety.
This is the second time that new rail carriages have had to be fixed. Sixty-four new train carriages costing €117m are also being repaired because they shake and roll too much for passenger comfort. These carriages were introduced on the Dublin-Cork route to big government fanfare four years ago.
However, it has emerged that the carriages fail to meet exacting specifications for passenger 'ride comfort' -- they are too rocky and not smooth enough while in motion.
Some repair work was carried out last year, but the problem remained and was deemed unacceptable by Iarnrod Eireann.
However, in this case, CAF, the Spanish manufacturers of the Mark IV rail carriages, will foot the eventual bill for the work.