Irish Rail told Mayo county council yesterday that it will be at least two years before any additional carriages will be added to its Mayo to Dublin train services.
While Mayo county councillors urged the company to provide an Early Bird train service out of Ballina, and questioned why Mayo passengers must always depart Heuston from the furthest platform in the station.
Train services dominated yesterday’s monthly meeting of Mayo county Council.
Two representatives of Irish Rail addressed councillors, having been asked to do so by councillors frustrated with the train services to the county over the past number of months.
Irish Rail representatives faced a barrage of questions and criticism from councillors yesterday.
Councillors wanted to know how the company can justify charging passengers for train tickets and then having to stand from Castlebar to Dublin, the lack of staff at Castlebar train station was also raised, the location of the platform in Heuston station where Mayo trains depart from - generally 7 or 8 , and the long walk is difficult for elderly passengers.
Independent cllr in Ballina Mark Duffy said he had consulted widely with constituents in north Mayo to ask them about the train service to the area and he said a range of issues were raised, however, the lack of an early bird service from Ballina to Dublin, a service that is provided from Westport and Castlebar is a one of the biggest issues.
He also asked why the train to Mayo from Heuston Station is always located on platforms 7 or 8, the furthest platforms from the centre of the station.
The response from Irish Rail representatives was that they did not know why Mayo trains depart from platforms 7/8, but said they would investigate and come back to councillors.
They also explained that while 41 new carriages nationally are to be procured by the company, this new stock will not be in operation until 2022 at the earliest.