Not such a 'Beautiful Day' for DART passengers
July 23rd 2009
While Irish Rail management pat themselves on the back for 25th anniversary of the first DART service, there will be no late night DART services to bring the crowds home from the U2 concerts this weekend.
On July 18th a notice appeared on the Irish Rail website listing special services for the 3 U2 concerts in Croke Park. This list included 4 extra DART services after midnight. On July 21st the notice no longer listed any extra DART services, Irish Rail appearing to have a change of heart.
When contacted this morning, the DART operations office in Pearse Station indicated that any special trains which operate would operate before the last scheduled DART service. The last southbound service is 23:28, and the last northbound service is at 23:43. With the concert due to end shortly after 11pm, the vast majority will be unable to reach Connolly station in time. The DART operations office was unable to provide any details as to the times of any special trains other than to say they would run as required but no later than the current last scheduled service.
Spokesperson for Rail Users Ireland, Mark Gleeson said "This situation is utterly unacceptable and is symptomatic of the continuing failure of Irish Rail to provide a service in line with the needs and expectations of the public. Over 5,000 people who could have taken the DART will need to find another way home."
He added "Irish Rail management, despite being beset by serious financal problems, has spent a fortune on all kinds of tacky promotions as part of the DART 25 celebration. Would the money not have been better spent on actually providing a rail service?"
Irish Rail gave less than a week's notice of extra services. In contrast, Northern Ireland Railways advertised an extra train within days of concert tickets going on sale. Curiously, passengers to Cork, Galway, Limerick, Maynooth and Drogheda will all have special services departing after midnight after the weekend concerts, but there will be no DART services, despite Irish Rail's eagerness to tell us what a "crucial role in the life of Dubliners" the DART plays.