herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Trains are often 'crowded and uncomfortable', say rush-hour commuters

Lolanda Pearse (24) from Naas pictured at busy platform at Connolly Station Dublin.
Lolanda Pearse (24) from Naas pictured at busy platform at Connolly Station Dublin.
Deborah Byrne (42) from Dublin 13 pictured at busy platform at Connolly Station Dublin.
Nick Carroll (23) from Baldoyle pictured at busy platform at Connolly Station Dublin.

AS passenger numbers grow on DART and commuter trains the Herald took to the platforms to find out how people rate the service provided by Irish Rail.

From 5pm Connolly Station began to fill up with people anxious to get home to enjoy the warm evening.

Trains pulling into the station, particularly northbound trains, were already busy with standing-room only.

Baldoyle native Nick Carroll (23) is a regular user of the DART and he feels the company has a long way to go to improve services.

"I use the DART every day, twice a day and I'm not impressed with the service. There's delays nearly every week," he said.

"It's particularly a problem in winter. It seems that as soon as winter comes and it starts to rain the service falls to pieces.

CANCELLATIONS

"There was one week when I think I was late into work or late home every single day."

He said there were a number of cancellations of trains on mornings in January.

"When I do get on I find them crowded and uncomfortable," Nick added.

He has to change trains to get home in the evening and finds the same problem on both.

Fellow DART-user Deborah Byrne (42) boards her morning train at Killester and travels to Connolly Station.

At peak times she said she rarely gets a seat but she still finds her daily commute manageable.

"I find the service mostly OK but I have noticed that it is getting busier, particularly at Killester.

"There's a lot more people getting on than there used to be. It can be quite busy in the morning depending on what train you get," she said.

"I don't mind standing but if I was coming further it might be an issue."

One young commuter raised concerns about older passengers having to stand.

"I often find myself standing no matter what time it is but I can handle it - for older people it might be more uncomfortable for them," said Sean Blain (24), who lives in Leixlip.

"The busier it gets they should know when they need more carriages, a few more definitely wouldn't go amiss," he added.

The problems faced by train users at peak times are not too different from those who use other means of getting to and from work and college, 24-year old Iolanda Pearse pointed out.

"It can be stuffy in the morning and I don't get a seat usually.

"I think every public transport has the same problems with overcrowding so I try to stay positive about it - I'm young enough to stand," she said.

hnews@herald.ie

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