Opening of Dunboyne rail line
September 2nd 2010
Rail Users Ireland (RUI) welcomes today's opening of the Dunboyne rail line. Crucially, this expansion is linked with development. This represents a positive model which should now be adopted countrywide in other urban areas that are not rail connected.
While the people of Dunboyne and commuters driving on the M3 now have the option of a rail service, as is sadly typical of Irish Rail a lack of focus on passenger needs and expectations has resulted in several serious issues;
Hansfield station will not open for some time owing to a three way stand-off between Irish Rail, Fingal County Council and the developer of the Hansfield site, none of whom seem to be in any hurry to complete the access road to the station.
Mark Gleeson RUI spokesperson said "It is unacceptable, many of the residents of Hansfield bought their homes based on the promise of a railway station and a direct service to Dublin. There needs to be clarity as to what is going on and as to whether Irish Rail or Fingal County Council will step in to build the road."
While a frequent service is provided, little effort is made to provide a joined up service:
Mark Gleeson RUI spokesperson, highlighted three concerns;
On Saturday and Sunday all services terminate/commence at Connolly, instead of continuing to serve the more attractive Tara Street and Pearse stations.
Off peak and all day Saturday and Sunday all trains run non-stop between Clonsilla and the city centre. This leaves the bulk of Dublin 15 with no direct access to the Dunboyne service and no access to Drumcondra for Croke Park at weekends.
The last weekday evening train departs Pearse at 20:59 and requires a change at Clonsilla, on weekends the last trains leave even earlier, 19:20 on Saturday and 19:05 on Sunday.
Mark Gleeson Spokesperson RUI said, "While frequent the timetable fails to meet passengers needs, late evening services are non-existent. There is no logic in trains running non-stop between Clonsilla and the City Centre. The combined Maynooth and Dunboyne lines have a greater catchment area than the existing DART line, these extra trains need to call at all stations, Irish Rail is ignoring a significant number of potential passengers."
While the provision of free parking at the M3 Parkway station is a welcome change from normal Irish Rail policy it is nullified by the incomprehensible planning choices made building the M3 motorway, those parking at the M3 Parkway station approaching from the M3 must pay the toll. Parking at Dunboyne however is not free. RUI remains convinced that the charge for parking is resulting in potential passengers ignoring the rail option.
Mark Gleeson Spokesperson RUI said, "The Dunboyne rail line is typical of the lack of coordination between state agencies, instead of an integrated solution which encourages use of the train, what has been delivered is a toll to access the countries largest train station car park, what kind of message is this sending to potential passengers?" Rail Users Ireland had raised these concerns during the public inquiry phase.