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25th Jul 2022

Iarnród Éireann promise a full investigation into chaotic scenes on DART yesterday

Fiona Frawley

dart pulling into a platform

Thousands of people travelled to Bray yesterday for the Air Show, a hugely popular event which returned over the weekend for the first time since before Covid.

However, the day became “chaotic and upsetting” as delays on one of the platforms at Bray station meant many passengers disembarked the DART and began walking along the tracks. This occurred at about 3pm, with delays continuing as a result until 5:30pm.

Spokesperson for Irish Rail Barry Kenny explained that this had a knock on effect for several subsequent services, as no trains could be operated in or out of Bray station until the track was confirmed clear.

Mr Kenny told Lovin.ie:

The Air Show is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year on DART, and in planning with organisers, we arranged for additional DARTs to operate.  Ultimately, nine extra DARTs operated from the city centre to Bray on Sunday between late morning and early afternoon.

As the last of these – the 13:45hrs Connolly to Bray, approached Bray Station, it stopped outside the station, waiting for a platform to become clear ahead.  Unfortunately, doors were forced open on one of the carriages after it had been stopped for 5 minutes 30 seconds, and a number of people descended onto the track to walk towards the station.

Immediately, trains had to be halted in both directions due to the presence of people on the track.  Quite quickly, others – now concerned at the extending delay, and at the very warm conditions – also left the train, and this continued across a number of carriages.  A second train – the 13:05hrs Howth to Greystones – was stopped further back towards Shankill, and after approximately 20 minutes, customers also out of concern for the delay and heat on board began to leave the train. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CgZk2MZoDj6/

Passengers also spoke about the unbearable heat onboard, with children and babies reportedly becoming increasingly uncomfortable on the busy carriages, and some people fainting. Mr Kenny said the trains in question would have had openable windows or air conditioning, one or the other, but that trains being stopped reduces the air flow, contributing to the very warm conditions.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Kenny said a full investigation will take place into the events, saying:

We’ll be investigating all of this… It is one of the busiest and traditional best days on the DART and it became chaotic and very upsetting for people.

Mr Kenny said that Irish Rail will review all aspects of their operational plan, including information available to customers on board and at stations, and ventilation on board, all of which are issues raised by passengers who have been in contact with them.

Header image via Shutterstock 

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