Dublin and Rosslare rail services disrupted until next week
Landslide north of Gorey in Co Wexford exposes vulnerability of commuters, says Byrne
Irish Rail contractors make repairs to the line which has subsided underneath the track at near Inch, Co Wexford between Arklow and Gorey. Photograph: Garry O’Neill
Rail services on the Dublin to Rosslare line will be disrupted until early next week at least as a result of a landslide north of Gorey in Co Wexford.
Irish Rail said an initial inspection of a railway embankment in the wake of Storm Emma had revealed damage to a culvert, which necessitated reduced train speeds on Tuesday.
Spokesman Barry Kenny said a subsequent inspection revealed significant subsidence close to the track, necessitating the section of line about 6km south of Arklow, Co Wicklow, to be closed.
Early morning trains from Rosslare to Dublin were cancelled on Wednesday with bus transfers put in place between Gorey and Bray, Co Wicklow.
Irish Rail said the Gorey to Arklow line would remain closed for the remainder of this week at least, for further repair works.
Irish Rail said it was “finalising arrangements for services remainder of this week” and asked intending passengers to check irishrail.ie for service details over coming days.
Bus transfers will be in operation for a number of services.
Wexford County Councillor and regular commuter between Gorey and Dublin city Malcolm Byrne said he would not be taking the trains again until he could get one which would “take me the full journey to Dublin without changing”.
Mr Byrne, who represents Fianna Fáil, said for many people, the prospect of changing from train to bus and back again was too much “of a pain”.
He said taking a car on the N11 in the morning was also difficult and slow.
Mr Byrne said the difficulties faced by commuters along the M11/N11 and the eastern rail corridor were due to poor planning. He noted there was nothing in the Government’s recent 2040 plan about improving public transport along the east coast railway and M11 “spines” which traverse south Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford.
He said the rail company and the State should be looking at making a third track alongside the Dart in south Dublin which would allow inter city and regional services to run without needing to be “slotted in” to the Dart timetable.
Mr Byrne said provision should be made for doubling the single-track railway line south of Greystones and down as far as Wexford with potential for new stations at Newcastle and Ashford, where significant housing development is set to take place in coming years.
The situation represented a failure to plan for public transport in the region and what was now needed was an “all-stakeholder” committee to drive improvements. He said he had no doubt that if the railway line was upgraded, “more people would use it”.