THE busiest rail networks in the country have been revealed for the first time.
And it has emerged that the busiest train in the country – with 1,427 passengers – is the 8am DART service from Greystones to Malahide
The figures emerged as the National Transport Authority (NTA) yesterday published its inaugural heavy rail census.
For the first time, it has recorded information on boarding and alighting of passengers at all 147 train stations in the country on a single day.
The survey was taken of train passengers on November 15 last year, while this year's research was carried out on November 14.
Officials have said that the survey will be repeated annually to build up a detailed picture of trends in heavy rail use across the network in Ireland.
Prior to this, census details were only collected at greater Dublin area stations – such as Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.
A total of 124,000 rail journeys were made on the day of the heavy rail census last year. It revealed that almost one in two passenger journeys in the State were taken on the DART and 83pc of all journeys were taken in the greater Dublin area.
The survey also showed that Connolly in Dublin was the busiest station of the 147 stations in the country, while the top 10 stations accounted for almost 50pc of all passenger traffic. There has been recent criticism of Irish Rail after a decision was made to reduce the number of carriages on off-peak trains.
A spokesman for the company confirmed to the Herald that the country's busiest service, 8am Greystones to Malahide, was currently serviced by eight carriages.
Meanwhile the survey revealed that the busiest hour was on the Northern Line, between Dundalk and Dublin Connolly, between 8am and 9am.
Then, a total of 7,440 people were on that line including DART, commuter and intercity services, travelling towards the city centre.