City train services to be slashed this winter

Alan O'Keeffe & Conor Feehan

TRAIN services are to be slashed this winter -- with the first of a series of cuts hitting Dublin's suburbs.

Three trains between Balbriggan and the city are being cancelled at the end of year.

Off-peak services to Sligo, Longford and Balbriggan and from the M3 Parkway and Clonsilla are also affected.

Some services are being axed completely, while others will be amalgamated.

Fianna Fail transport spokesman Timmy Dooley accused the Government of being "foolhardy" in cutting too deeply the State's subvention payments to Irish Rail.

But a spokesman for Transport Minister Leo Varadkar hit back, stating: "Deputy Dooley has obviously forgotten that the Government bailed out CIE by €36 million earlier this year to save the company from a huge financial challenge."

More cuts -- to services to the south, south-east and west from Heuston Station -- will be announced in the coming weeks.