Inquiry begins into fire on cross-Border train

No one injured as passengers remain on board while firefighters tackle flames

The blaze broke out in the engine of the Belfast to Dublin Enterprise train, forcing it to stop just short of Newry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The blaze broke out in the engine of the Belfast to Dublin Enterprise train, forcing it to stop just short of Newry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

An investigation has started into the cause of a fire on board a cross-Border passenger train last night, in which no one was injured.

The blaze broke out in the engine of the Belfast to Dublin Enterprise train, forcing it to stop just short of Newry. It eventually reached Dublin several hours late, at 1am.

Passengers who had to stay on board while crews tackled the flames were moved towards the rear of the vehicle. Up to 15 firefighters in three appliances were involved in the incident.

A fire service spokesman said it had been difficult to control.

Barry Kenny, Iarnród Éireann corporate communications manager, acknowledged there had been a delay in passengers reaching Dublin, telling RTÉ Radio 1 the incident had not occurred adjacent to road access. “We would have had to walk people almost two miles across very uneven surfaces. They would obviously require quite a lot of time to do that.

“Ultimately we decided people would remain safer if they were to remain on the train,” he said, adding that people had to wait about four hours extra due to the incident. On reaching Dublin, he said, overnight accommodation and taxis were provided to passengers who required them.

Northern Ireland Minister for Transport Danny Kennedy, who visited the scene, praised the quick actions of Translink staff.

“This has been a distressing situation for all passengers concerned and I am very relieved that no one has been injured,” he said.

“I am very grateful for the quick actions of the driver and Translink staff in dealing with this incident and also for the emergency services in responding to this incident so quickly.”

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar was also updated on the incident.

PA