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Irish Rail apologises to passengers ‘caught up in a very distressing situation’ at Bray

In a statement on Sunday, Irish Rail said the 1.45pm Connolly/Bray train was forced to stop on its approach to Bray when “a number of people forced open doors and walked on the track”.
DART train

DART train

Stock image

Stock image

Seoirse MulgrewIndependent.ie

Irish Rail has apologised to customers who were “caught up in a very distressing situation” while travelling on the Bray service yesterday afternoon.

In a statement on Sunday, Irish Rail said the 1.45pm Connolly/Bray train was forced to stop on its approach to Bray when “a number of people forced open doors and walked on the track”.

The railway company was forced to suspend services as a result. However, many passengers took to social media to complain about a lack of air conditioning on board.

Communications officer Barry Kenny said yesterday was a “hugely busy day” as the Bray Air Show took place along with the All-Ireland Final.

“We obviously apologise to people that were caught up in what was a very distressing situation for many customers,” he told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland.

“It was obviously a hugely busy day, at 2.55pm, the last of what was nine additional Darts that we operated for the Bray Air Show was waiting for a platform just outside of Bray Station.

“On that Dart, a small number of people pushed open a door, notwithstanding the fact it was literally a couple of minutes until the Dart was going to proceed onto the platform. And once those people did that and were on the track, we obviously couldn’t operate any train in or out of Bray Station until it was confirmed that the track was clear.

“This then caused a knock-on effect because the delay became definite because the conditions were very difficult, it was very busy on board, and it was a warm day as well. Others then decided, because of the delay and indeed because of genuine concern, to leave the train.

“So, unfortunately what started as a short wait for a platform then caused that further knock-on delay for other people to decide out of genuine concern for themselves to leave the train meaning we had an uncontrolled number of people on the line.”

Mr Kenny said ambulance services and gardaí were then deployed to assist passengers and clear the line.

He said Iarnród Éireann understands that it became a “chaotic” experience passengers and it will be investigating the incident.

“So, ultimately from that moment at 2.55pm when the first people left the train, it was about 5.15pm until the line reopened,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“In terms of the warmth on board, the various trains involved would have had either openable windows or air conditioning. When a train is stopped obviously that reduces the airflow through the train and it did get very warm.

“It did take time to get to some of the trains that were further away, we will be investigating all of this, this was one of the busiest days on the Dart and it became chaotic and very upsetting for a lot of people and certainly ruined the day for a lot of people, we understand and accept that

“Obviously it is regrettable when the first group made this decision when literally it was a couple of minutes to get to platform but we do understand the thoughts behind the actions of others thereafter.”

In a statement issued to Independent.ie on Sunday, a garda spokesperson said: “Gardaí and emergency services currently at the scene of an incident on rail line near Bray train station.”

“There is currently a disruption to rail services in the area. Gardaí are assisting with traffic management. No further details are available at this time.”

Many passengers took to social media on Sunday to alert the railway company to issues with air conditioning on board.

One Twitter user said: “Passengers are boiling, no aircon, you should have planned better and people wouldn't have to resort to that. Absolutely ridiculous.”

Another wrote: “My mam is on that train and she’s called me panicking. Please open some doors or turn on the AC. She suffers with vertigo and will collapse.”

While another wrote: “Absolute disgrace on the DART today. No air con, people having panic attacks. No windows to open. Absolutely ridiculous.”


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