Carriages must open on shorter platforms
CONCERNS were raised at last Tuesday’s meeting of Greystones Municipal District meeting about train services in Wicklow.
Cllr Derek Mitchell laid down a notice of motion at the meeting calling on the council ‘ to write to Irish Rail to ask them to ensure that diesel carriages they are about to order can have a selection of doors only open at short platform stations as in other commuter railways.
‘ This will enable longer diesel trains to serve Greystones and double the Wicklow train capacity which is standing room only at rush hour.’
Cllr Mitchell said it is imperative that the new carriages can open at short platform stations to ease commuter problems.
‘Irish Rail is ordering more diesel carriages and I have asked them to ensure that the doors in a limited number of carriages can be opened at short platform stations.
‘ These are normal in most other commuter railways but the Irish Rail carriages must open all doors on the train which means eight carriages cannot be used on lines with short platforms in Kilcoole and Rathdrum for example.
‘ This will improve the service to Greystones and Wicklow by allowing longer eight carriage trains in place of the four and sometimes three carriage ones used for the rush hour diesel services like the 6.54 a.m. and 7.51 a.m. ex Greystones.
‘ The latter is standing room only from Wicklow and revised carriages can provide a better service to Greystones and Kilcoole. Greystones is the 5th busiest suburban station even though there are only a third of DARTS compared to the other stations.
‘ This result is the 7.30 a.m, 8 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. being crowded. The 8 a.m. is the busiest train in the country and a longer preceding diesel would relieve pressure. Hence the importance of extra carriages on the diesels.
‘ There is also space in the timetable to run an extra DART at 7.21 a.m., by running it down early. I have asked that the carriage order provides for this if extra carriages are needed.
‘ The council has provided the largest Park n’ Ride site, with more than 450 spaces, and largest bike parking (90 spaces) of any DART Station. I am keen to expand these but there needs to be a commitment from Irish Rail to improve the service.
‘ The limited number of trains produces a peak load and long queues to get off the platform, out of the station and out of the Park n’ Ride which should be cured by more trains and station modifications.
‘ The future ‘10 minute’ DART service is billed as an improvement. Yet for Greystones, Irish Rail is planning a worse service with no extra trains and a 5 and a half minute increase in journey time (12 per cent increase).
‘ This will encourage people to use cars in conflict with sustainable development. The development targets handed down to the council are for an extra 4,000 houses in Greystones and a better transport offering is required for this.’
Derek Mitchell at Greystones Train Station.