Iarnród Éireann and RAIU investigating fault found in passenger train

Fault found in locomotive used on Dublin-Cork and Dublin-Belfast train services

Iarnród Éireann and the Railway Accident Investigation Unit are carrying out separate investigations into a structural fault found in the chassis of one of the class of locomotives used on Dublin-Cork and Dublin-Belfast train services.

The structural fault on the locomotive was discovered last week after it was withdrawn from service due to another issue at Limerick Junction while operating a Cork-Dublin journey.

Iarnród Éireann , the State-owned rail operator, said on Wednesday that it had also notified the Commission for Railway Regulation about the structural fault discovered on the chassis of the locomotive, which is one of 23 of its type in service with the company.

It said it had carried out inspections for similar faults on all the other similar locomotives in its fleet but no problems had been uncovered.


The locomotive concerned forms part of what are known technically as the 201 class which operate passenger services on the Dublin-Cork and Dublin-Belfast rail lines.

Iarnród Éireann said that locomotive 224 was been withdrawn from service after a structural fault was identified in the chassis on July 7th.

“Locomotive 224 had been operating the 14.25hrs service from Cork to Dublin Heuston on the previous day, July 6th, when a fuel leak from the locomotive caused the train to be taken out of service at Limerick Junction, with customers transferred by a replacement train.”

“Locomotive 224 was hauled to Heuston Station later that day, and was being prepared for transfer to Inchicore (the company’s engineering works) on July 7th to investigate the fault when the driver noted the structural fault.”

The rail operator said that no such fault had ever occurred previously in the locomotives in the class 201 fleet which have been in operation in Ireland since 1994.

The company said that all of the 201 locomotive fleet was inspected within the following 24 hours after the structural fault was discovered.

“It was confirmed that only locomotive 224 was affected”, the company said.

“Iarnród Éireann is investigating the incident, and has also notified both the Commission for Railway Regulation, and the Railway Accident Investigation Unit, and the RAIU has confirmed that it will also be undertaking an independent investigation.”

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent