Passengers who haven’t reserved seats on trains from Dublin to Mayo will have to continue making last-minute dashes from the platform at Heuston Station to secure a seat.
Irish Rail doesn’t confirm the platform from which the Westport/Ballina train will depart until a matter of minutes before it is due to leave the station, leaving passengers competing for seats.
Iarnród Éireann CEO Jim Meade has indicated in a letter to Fianna Fáil Deputy Dara Calleary that there will no change to the current ad-hoc arrangements.
“As you can appreciate, Heuston is an extremely busy station with a large number of services moving in and out of the station at all times. Platforms may only be allocated at short notice, as the train set may have an extremely tight turn- around at the station or it may need cleaning or fuelling, so this is the reason that the platform may not be allocated until nearer the time of departure,” Mr Meade said.
Those who have reserved seats often find them taken by others but Mr Meade said Irish Rail is “working on improving the reliability of its seat reservation system”.
“We are also in the process of introducing onboard customer service agents on all Intercity services which will also help with the seat reservation allocation,” he said.
Deputy Calleary also enquired about the erection of a shelter at Manulla Junction, but that was ruled out by Mr Meade, who said the junction is merely a transfer point.
“The provision of a shelter at Manulla Junction is not within our current buildings and facilities investment plan, as customers generally transfer directly from one train to another.”