Irish Rail

  • Irish Rail says lunchtime train services between Mayo and Dublin are operating as scheduled, following delays to services this morning.

    There were delays of between 30 and 45 minutes earlier on all services to and from Heuston Station in Dublin -  due to signal cable vandalism between Sallins and Newbridge.

    The signalling has since been restored, and Irish Rail says trains are now running as scheduled.




  • Ballina, Castlebar, Claremorris and Ballyhaunis train stations look set to be completely automated, with no staff at the stations processing tickets, from March of this year. That’s according to Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Lisa Chambers.

    The deputy believes that this will impact negatively on many train users and she has written to Iarnrod Eireann to clarify its plans and is strongly opposing any such development.

    Deputy Chambers says that from March of this year, the ticket machines used by staff to sell train tickets in the stations will become obsolete and will not be replaced. Rail passengers will have to purchase tickets on line or at the self service ticket machines at the stations.

    In county Mayo she has been told that Westport train station is the only train station in the county that will get a new machine.

    If this happens she argues, than staff at the stations without a facility to sell tickets directly to customers, will become redundant and will be transferred to other locations.

    In a statement to Midwest News a spokesperson for Irish Rail says:

    We have stated previously and publically, including briefings of elected representatives, that we do plan to change the way we provide customer service, both on-board and in stations, to reflect changing customer requirements. 

    Traditional booking office ticket purchases today represent only 13% of total revenue, and are reducing – 87% of our revenue across all networks is now generated through ticket vending machines, online booking, and other automated channels.

    However, customers still want and require customer service assistance for their journey, particularly on board longer-distance services where many trains are currently driver-only.  This can result in people having customer service personnel available for the 5 minutes they are in the station, but not three hours they’re on the train.

    To meet this need, Iarnród Éireann is planning to improve its customer services to ensure more customers receive the support and service required as routine ticketing becomes more automated.

    This will mean:

    • An increase in on-board staffing, to provide on-board customer service officers on Intercity services, helping customers with boarding, seat reservations, and customer service information
    • Station staffing re-focused to provide customer service and assistance in the station area, with a mix of manned and self-service stations reflecting customer demand and usage patterns
    • Equipping on-board and station staff with enhanced information and support to assist customers

    On-board Customer Service Officer deployment has begun.  We do anticipate that there will be changes in stations during 2019, which will include stations with full ticket sales, some stations having customer service staff for customer assistance, with ticketing through automated channels, and some stations becoming unmanned.

    However, final details of these changes have not yet been confirmed including timescales, and we will engage with employees and our customers to outline these changes nationwide, including in Mayo.

    The changes in customer service will mean that customers will have continuous access to customer service support on Intercity services, including assistance for customers with mobility and sensory impairments; better service information; better delivery of seat reservations; and a deterrent to anti-social behaviour.


  • There’s welcome news for the community of Straide  - with the completion of a new road at what has been an accident black spot in the area.

    The new road has been built to accommodate residents of Knockshanbally and Knocknakillew to prevent them having to frequently cross the railway track at the location.

    There have been two fatalities at the unmanned level crossing, situated on the Ballina to Manulla junction line, in recent years.

    Now the new road has been put place following a campaign by residents to have health and safety concerns adequately addressed.

    Castlebar councillor Ger Deere has welcomed the completion of the project funded by Irish Rail.

    He said Mayo County Council will shortly advertise its intention to take the road in charge and make it a public road.

    He has been speaking to Midwest News about the development


  • Irish Rail have confirmed to Midwest News that there was a delay on the Hesuton to Westport service this morning due to a mechanical issue which occurred at Roscommon.

    The 7.35am train to Westport was due to arrive at 10.55am but is now expected to arrive at 11.55am.

  • There were delays today on both the 7.35am Heuston to Westport service and the 9.45am Westport to Hesuton service.

    This was as a result of a motorist driving through a barrier on the Castlerea to Ballyhaunis line.

    No one was injured in the incident.

    However, there was significant delay as repairs had to be carried out to the barrier.

    Full service has since resumed.

  • There's delays of between 30 and 45 minutes on services to and from Heuston Station in Dublin.

    It's due to signal cable vandalism between Sallins and Newbridge.

    Irish Rail says delays will continue throughout the morning peak.


  • There have been delays on trains on the Sligo-Dublin line this morning .

    Due to a mechanical fault, delays of over 40 minutes were reported.

    It's understood the mechanical issue has now been resolved, but there are some knock-on delays to services.



  • Gardai and emergency services are attending the scene of an incident along the railway line outside Ballyhaunis.

    Midwest News understands that a body has been found on lands near the line on the Castlerea side of the town.

    Investigations into the incident are ongoing

    Gardaí say the results of a post mortem examination will determine the course of their investigations.

    Irish Rail passengers intending to travel on Westport/Dublin train services today will encounter delays as a result.

    In a statement on social media Irish Rail have indicated that bus services will transport passengers west of Athlone.

    The 13:40 Heuston to Westport service is operating as train from Heuston to Athlone and bus transfers from Athlone to Westport.

    The 13:20 Westport to Heuston service is operating as bus transfers to Athlone and as a train from Athlone to Heuston.

  • Irish Rail have announced extra services on the Westport-Dublin line this Sunday, as Mayo football fans make their way to Croke Park for the Allianz National Football League Division One final between Mayo and Kerry.

    An additional morning train will leave Westport at 8.20am on Sunday morning, serving Castlebar, Claremorris and Ballyhaunis, and an additional evening train will leave Heuston Station in Dublin at 7.20pm Sunday evening, after the match which has a 4pm throw-in.



  • Irish Rail is advising those travelling to Dublin for the Pope's visit next month that train seats must be booked in advance.

    There will be no access to trains on Sunday 26th August without a ticket or reservation.

    Irish Rail says train tickets will not be available for sale on Sunday 26th August, and only passengers with tickets or reservations will be allowed access the Intercity trains.

    This applies to regular services and extra trains which will operate on a number of routes, including the Mayo, Galway and Sligo rail lines.

    Train passengers must travel on the train they book - due to high demand, there is no flexibilty to change to other services.

    Trains on that date will have unallocated seating, and passengers should take any available seat.

    Up to half a million people will travel to Phoenix Park where the Pope will celebrate Mass on 26th August, following a brief visit to Knock Shrine.

    Irish Rail says this is the large single event the country has hosted since Pope John Paul II visited in 1979, and customers need to book intercity trains in advance to ensure all can travel to the event in comfort.

    Iarnrod Eireann says there are also limited services from Westport, Ballina and Athlone to Claremorris for the Knock Shrine event on the same date - including a bus transfer to and from Knock.


    Irish Rail is advising people travelling by train to see Pope Francis in Knock that seats must be booked in advance.

    Extra train services will operate on Sunday week next from Westport, Ballina and Athlone to Claremorris train station with a free bus transfer to and from Knock Shrine.

    Meanwhile, people travelling to see Pope Francis in the Phoenix Park in Dublin are being advised to book their tickets quickly as some services are already sold out.

    One train is already sold out on the Westport to Dublin line and one train on the Galway to Dublin line, and intending passengers are advised there's limited availability on other services, which should be booked as soon as possible.

    There's still availability on the Sligo-Dublin service also.

    Trains from Kerry and Waterford are already sold out

    Irish Rail says advance booking is mandatory for all Intercity trains and no tickets will be available on the day.

  • Irish Rail have announced additional services on the Sligo-Dublin route from the 9th December, due to increased demand.

    From Mondays to Fridays, an additional service will be provided from Connolly Station to Sligo, with trains leaving Connolly at 6.55 am and 9.05 am  - replacing the existing service at 8am.

    On Saturdays, the morning train from Connolly station to Sligo will depart at 9.05 instead of the current time 8am departure time.

    An additional service is also being added on the Sligo to Connolly line 6 days per week.

    Trains will depart Sligo at 4.55 pm on weekdays and 5pm on Saturdays, and again at 7 pm - replacing the current 6pm service.

    These are in addition to the other scheduled services between Sligo and Connolly.

    Irish Rail is inviting submissions by this Thursday on the proposed changes, will be introduced on 9th December, subject to the approval of the National Transport Authority.


  • Irish Rail is banning people from drinking alcohol on some of its routes from next week.

    The ban will come into effect from Friday October 12th, and will be enforced every Friday, following regular reports of anti-social behaviour.

    It will affect the Heuston to Galway routes departing at 11:25am, 1:25pm and 3:35pm; as well as the 2:45pm train from Heuston to Westport.

  • Irish Rail has rowed back on plans to make Castlebar train station completely automatic, but the number of staff at the station is to be reduced from three to two.

    That was confirmed by an Irish Rail representative, who addressed  this week's monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.

    Cathaoirleach of the Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne has welcomed the news, insisting an automated train station in Castlebar would not be acceptable, as people with mobility issues often require assistance to board or disembark from the train.

    He also pointed out that the ticket machine at the station is sometimes out of order.

    The company explained that there will be an increase in on-board staff on all train services.  

    Irish Rail also explained at the meeting that demand for train travel has increased significantly on the Westport-Dublin line over the past 3 years, and now stands at 580,000 passengers annually - up from 535,000 in 2016, and claims 87% of all train tickets are now bought online, rather than at a station.

    Councillor Kilcoyne claimed the company often provides a poor service for customers, who are left standing at busy times, and he said all customers should be entitled to a seat.

  • More trains are being put on at weekends to keep up with demand.

    Irish Rail says it is continuing to monitor passenger numbers following criticism last weekend for overcrowding on a service from Galway to Dublin.

    The extra trains will be on the Galway, Cork, Limerick, Tralee, and Ennis lines from Heuston Station in Dublin.

    Jane Cregan from Irish Rail says they intend to have full services in place before the end of August.

  • Passengers on the Dublin to Westport train yesterday evening were stuck onboard for two hours when it broke down near Castlebar.

    The train had left Dublin at 20 to to 2 on Sunday afternoon and broke down at ten to five.

    Service resumed shortly before 7pm.

    Irish Rail spokesperson Jane Cregan told Midwest News this morning that the cause of the delay was a mechanical fault with the train.

    She admitted that communication to passengers on the cause of the delay yesterday evening may have been minimal. Outlining that while some announcements were made, the driver was outside of the cab attempting to rectify the problem for most of the time the train was stopped and this may have contributed to the small number of announcements made.

    The driver and maintenance staff did manage to get the train going and brought passengers to their destination.

    The 3.40pm train from Heuston to Westport yesterday terminated at Claremorris station and a bus to Westport was provided.

    Bus transfers also brought passengers who had intended on taking the 5.45pm train from Westport to Dublin to Claremorris station.

    Ms Cregan apologised on behalf of Irish Rail to all passengers caught up in the delay.

  • The campaign to secure a safer level crossing at Kinageer, outside Castlebar is continuing, and Irish Rail has agreed to send a delegation to next Wednesday’s Castlebar Municipal District meeting in response to a request from councillors to do so.

    At the May meeting of the authority, a delegation from the local community that regularly use the busy level crossing at Kilnageer outlined to the council their grave concerns over the safety of the unmanned crossing.

    The level crossing located along the road that links Breaffy to Belcarra has been the scene of numerous collisions over recent years between trains and motor vehicles.

    Councillors agreed with the delegation that the crossing at Kilnageer is not appropriate, despite an upgraded lighting system recently commissioned by Irish Rail at the location.

    The council contacted Irish Rail to ask the company to attend the next meeting of the authority and to address the increasing local safety concerns at the Kilnageer junction.

    Local councillor Cyril Burke told Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley that Irish Rail has now agreed to attend the June meeting of the authority, on Wednesday next (June 24th)

  • The Irish Rail evening service from Heuston Station to Galway will be operating with reduced capacity today.

    Irish Rail confirmed in a tweet this afternoon the service will be operating with reduced capacity due to a mechanical issue.

    An Irish Rail spokesperson confirmed to Midwest News that the service may be running with one less carriage.

    She advised that people should arrive for the 6:30pm train in plenty of time to avail of seats on the busy Friday evening service.

  • Bus Eireann is advising that, under the level 5 restrictions from tomorrow night, Bus Eireann and Expressway services will only operate at a 25% capacity.

    Under Government advice, all travel should be limited within a 5km radius, unless travel is essential for work, education and other essential purposes.

    Only one seat out of every four can be used on buses, and these are being reserved for essential workers.

    Bus Eireann says passengers should not use buses if they're experiencing any symptoms of the virus, and public transport should not be used to travel to or from a Covid-19 testing centre.

    Irish Rail is also reminding the public that all rail travel is for essential workers and essential purposes only.


  • Irish Rail gave a commitment at yesterday's Castlebar Municipal District meeting that they will seek planning permission for a new bridge, instead of the current notorious level crossing at Kilnageer.

    Three members of Irish Rail attended yesterday's meeting, however, the Kilnageer community remain “cynical” over this commitment.

    Local resident Des Mulligan is questioning whether this is a case of Irish Rail "just kicking the can down the road again".