Thursday 22 March 2018

Apology for rail passengers forced to 'walk the line'

Anne Campbell

IRISH Rail has apologised to customers who had to 'walk the line' after a train broke down on its way to Dundalk from Dublin earlier this month.

The incident only came to light when one of the passengers contacted the Argus because they were annoyed they had received no apology from the train company.

The passenger explain-ed how they had taken the 9.35pm service from Dublin to Dundalk on Friday, July 4, when, outside Dunleer, the train broke down.

The customer said: 'We waited for a good while before we were told what the delay was. They said there was a problem with the engine and another train was being sent for us. But, as time went on, it got darker and we had to walk down the track near Dunleer to get on the other train with a member of staff and a very weak torch.

'We could hardly see anything because of the overgrown embankment and we were worried that a train was going to come down the track. It was a frightening experience.'

And, after transferring to the other train that had come to rescue them, the passengers' plight didn't end - they had to wait in Drogheda train station before being left home.

The customer said: 'One man had the right idea - his wife was waiting for him at Dundalk train station and just decided to come and get him in Drogheda. But we had to wait for a train back to Dundalk and we didn't get there until nearly 1am.

'I don't know why Irish Rail didn't just get a taxi for us, instead of going to the expense and bother of another train. I thought we might have seen an apology in the paper but there hasn't been one so I decided to contact the paper about it.'

Irish Rail spokesperson Barry Kenny confirmed the incident had taken place and apologised for the delay experienced by passengers.

He said: 'There was a mechanical fault with this service, and the train could not move as maintenance staff were awaited.

'We made arrangements to bring a train out to the site, and for the three passengers on board to be transferred to the replacement train, to bring them back to Drogheda.

'They were assisted from the train, and walked a short distance along the track with assistance from staff. Trains were not permitted to operate on the opposite line while this took place. Onward transfer to Dundalk was then arranged. We apologise for the extensive delay which resulted'.

The Argus