Rail passengers make nearly 1,000 complaints about fellow travellers

Irish Rail receives reports concerning assault, theft, noise, vandalism and disruption

Irish Rail said it intends to enhance staffing on trains for customer security

Irish Rail said it intends to enhance staffing on trains for customer security

 

Irish Rail has received more than 900 complaints from train passengers concerning the behaviour of other passengers since 2015.

Data released under the Freedom of Information Act show issues reported by passengers include assault, theft and intimidation, vandalism, noise and smoking or drinking onboard.

There have been 326 compaints recorded so far this year, compared to 249 in all of 2016 and 347 in 2015.

Irish Rail said it intends to enhance staffing on trains for customer security, adding that it believes a begging scam involving the selling of tissues to passengers explains the increase in complaints this year.

By far the most frequest category of complaint was “disorderly passengers” which account for about 498 reports. Next was passenger intimidation, which made up about 227 complaints.

This was followed by vandalism, which was the subject of 122 complaints. Theft was reported 33 times while Irish Rail received 30 reports of assault.

In terms of routes, the Dart service in the Dublin area accounted for the highest number of passenger complaints, with 292.

After that, Irish Rail received 105 complaints concerning the Longford-M3 Parkway-Maynooth route. There were 84 reports of anti-social behaviour on the Galway route and 82 on the Cork route.

The Sligo route accounted for 62 complaints while the Dundalk-Drogheda commuter route accounted for 61.

Two passengers complained about fellow passengers breaking the alcohol and smoking policy, while five complaints were received over noise.

Irish Rail said a small number of passengers engage in anti-social behaviour but the company takes, and will take, a number of measures to tackle the problem.

“There were 42.8 million journeys on our network in 2016, and the overwhelming majority of these were made without incident,” the spokesman said.

“Our trains are equipped with high-quality CCTV which enables us to follow up incidents, including with gardaí.

“We have a number of mobile security teams on our network, and we liaise with gardaí on any specific problem areas, and increase resources to tackle specific issues.

“As part of a general review of our staffing, we plan to enhance the staffing on trains for customer service and security.”