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Media Activity 2009

Tuesday December 8th

Herald Am

Rail Users Unhappy With Timetable Change

Monday December 7th

Irish Independent

Rail Users Unhappy With Timetable Change - Aideen Sheehan

Sunday November 29th

Rail Users Ireland Press Release

2010 Rail Timetable Leads To Anger Among Commuters

Full text online

Tuesday November 24th

Business and Finance

Transport: Next stop 21st century? - Fearghal O'Connor

Sunday November 15th

Rail Users Ireland Press Release

Reopening of Malahide Viaduct

Full text online

  • 98FM News Sunday November 15th
  • Irish Times Online Sunday November 15th link
  • RTE Radio 1, Drivetime, Monday 16th

Thursday September 24th

Business and Finance

Is Transport 21 on hold - Fearghal O'Connor

Available online online

Sunday September 6th

Rail Users Ireland Press Release

Cross Border Rail Service Reductions Condemned

Full text online

Sunday Tribune

Irish Rail in dispute with users over punctuality of its suburban trains - John Downes

Full story available online

Saturday August 22nd

Rail Users Ireland Press Release

Collapse of Malahide Viaduct

Full text online

  • Hearld AM Monday 24th & Tuesday 25th
  • Today FM News, August 22nd
  • Today FM Lunchtime News Interview, Monday 24th
  • Irish Times editorial Tuesday 25th.
  • Newstalk, 2FM, FM104, Saturday 22nd
  • Radio Ulster, Monday 24th
  • Newstalk Breakfast Show, Monday 24th
  • Sunday Times, Sunday 23rd

Wednesday August 19th

Irish Times

Irish Rail has been offering some bargain online fares, but the seat-reservation system has disgruntled some passengers - Connor Pope

Full story available online

Tuesday August 11th

Irish Examiner

Ride Quality Issues With €117m Carriages - Eoin English

Full story available online

Tipperary Today - Tipp FM

Mark Gleeson of Rail Users Ireland interviewed by Seamus Martin concerning the Mk4 ride problems and other matters including the problems with online tickets and turnstiles

Cork's Red FM

Mark Gleeson of Rail Users Ireland, providing further comment on the Mk4 ride problem

Sunday August 9th

Sunday Tribune

Irish Rail 'vomit comets' making passengers sick, say train-users - Mark Hilliard

Full story available online

Thursday July 30th

Irish Times.com

Cork-Midleton rail line opens

CIARA O'BRIEN

A commuter rail service linking Midleton and Cork has officially opened today.

Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey travelled on the first passenger train on the line from Kent Station in Cork to Midleton at 12.15pm to open new stations at Carrigtwohill and Midleton. Members of the public can travel on the new service free of charge for the day.

The service represents an investment of €75 million in infrastructure under the Government’s Transport 21 Strategy, and is the result of a 35-year campaign to bring services back to the town. It last carried passenger services 46 years ago.

Cork Chamber president Ger O’Mahoney said the line would have a "significant impact" on public transport infrastructure in the Cork region, and would bring major economic benefits and facilitate the development of areas identified for growth in the Cork Area Strategic Plan (CASP).

However, a spokesman for campaign group Rail Users Ireland said there was still a long way to go before residents of Midleton and Carrigtwohill got a "21st century rail service", with new signalling yet to be installed, and bus substitutions included on the timetable.

"Despite a four-week closure of the Cork-Cobh line in 2008 in part to facilitate the building of the Midleton line, the new Midleton line is not complete and will open with temporary signalling arrangements," said spokesman Mark Gleeson.

"As a result the Midleton line, together with the Cobh line will require at least one to two days' closure whilst the new points and signalling are installed and commissioned later this year. All of this disruption could have been avoided easily by Irish Rail if the work had been carried out in 2008."

Two trains each way will be substituted for bus services at night, according to the timetable.

© 2009 Irish Times

Rail Users Ireland Press Release

Opening of Cork-Midleton commuter rail service - with buses!

Full text online

Thursday July 23rd

Rail Users Ireland Press Release

Not such a 'Beautiful Day' for DART passengers

Full text online

Sunday June 7th

The Business - RTE Radio One

Mark Gleeson of Rail Users Ireland interviewed as part of a panel concerning the Western Rail Corridor

Available as an mp3 for download here

Sunday May 3rd

Sunday Tribune

Irish Rail not cutting line repairs

Ken Griffin

Iarnród Éireann has insisted that it isn't cutting back on maintenance work in the face of mounting losses after it emerged that speed restrictions have been placed on more than 25 miles of the Dublin-to-Cork railway line due to safety concerns.

The affected stretch, which runs between Newbridge and Portlaoise, is the busiest intercity line in the country and is used by all services to Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Tralee. Although most services on these routes are still arriving on time, this is because the timetables haven't been redrafted to take advantage of the new intercity trains currently being introduced. The new 75mph speed limit, which is up to 25% slower than the previous speeds, means that passengers will not experience the full benefit of the trains, which were bought at a cost of more than €500m to the taxpayer. A spokesman for campaign group Rail Users Ireland said it was concerned the speed restrictions reflected cutbacks in maintenance work. "Track repairs have to be done at night and the issue this raises is whether they have cut the overtime budget to cover night work," he said. "The speed restriction seems to be permanent for the foreseeable future. They have even removed the old higher speed limit signs."

An Iarnród Éireann spokesman said the company hadn't cut its maintenance budgets and that any suggestions to the contrary were "ridiculous sensationalism". He said the speed restriction on the Cork line had been introduced due to drainage problems on the line caused by record rainfall in recent years.

"We are about to undertake a programme of maintenance and renewal in relation to this but regrettably we have no control over record rainfall."

He added the speed restrictions didn't undermine the benefits of its new intercity train fleet because they were long-term investments, which would last for another 30 years.

"Furthermore, the improved performance being delivered by the intercity rail fleet ensures that speed restrictions will not impact negatively on journey times."

© 2009 Sunday Tribune

Original Text Online

Sunday March 29th

Sunday Times

New online fee angers train passengers

State's railway operator brought in credit card charge for those buying tickets on the internet two weeks ago

Jan Battles

Irish Rail is following in the tracks of Ryanair and Aer Lingus by introducing a credit-card transaction fee on ticket purchases. Customers who book journeys on its website are now being charged a €2 levy on top of fare prices if they pay by credit card.

The state-owned railway operator brought in the additional fee without notice a fortnight ago, arguing it is necessary to pay for charges levied by its own bank.

Train users have described the move as "cheeky". Mark Gleeson of Rail Users Ireland said: "I don’t like it at all. They never told us this was coming. It was an absolute shock."

"They had been very public [in saying] that they wanted to keep it a simple system, with no complexity, that there was one price and that’s what you pay. Now we find this situation where they’ve jacked this €2 charge on."

The credit-card charge was added to the online system on March 13. Tickets can still be booked with Laser cards at no additional cost. The €2 fee applies per transaction, not per journey leg as is the case with Ryanair and Aer Lingus.

Cinema tickets and concert admissions also usually involve a card-charge per item.

"We've had an increase in credit-card charges from the credit-card company," said Barry Kenny of Irish Rail. "Because of the impact on our revenue, we introduced the €2 transaction fee. That means even if you are buying 10 tickets, you’re still just paying €2 as opposed to some ticketing and airline websites where the levy tends to be per journey.

"The Laser card fees have gone up for us as well but they are significantly lower than credit-card fees. We are absorbing this charge."

Kenny said unless the fees charged by its bank for processing Laser transactions increased, it would remain free to use. He would not reveal how much their credit-card fees had increased, citing commercial reasons.

Gleeson said Laser cards had proved unreliable for some commuters in the past and they may be reluctant to risk facing a long queue at the booking office on a Friday evening if anything goes wrong.

"Laser cards may be free but a lot of people in the past tried them and the system didn’t allow it, either rejecting them on the website or when they went to collect at the ticket machine. I’m assured that the problem’s been rectified but anyone who tried in the past is probably not willing to try again."

Gleeson said the reservation system still does not operate properly. People regularly reserve seats only to find there is nothing to confirm this when they board, and they may find someone else sitting in their seat.

"You could have four people ending up in four different carriages," he said. "Since we’re now paying a charge, we'd expect the reservations to work."

© 2009 Sunday Times

Original Text Online

Tuesday February 3th

Radio Kerry - Kerry Today

Numerous complaints from Kerry have come in concerning the poor heating on trains. Irish Rail's response to the problems focused on doors on the Mk4 fleet of trains, which have never even visited Kerry! Mark Gleeson of Rail Users Ireland, Users Ireland, John Greene is the presenter always in the chair.

Last Updated: March 28 2010 19:02:49
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