Irish Rail tackle on board issues

Emer Handly

Customer service officers will assist with seating issues and other on board concerns.

Customer service officers will now be on board intercity train services, according to Irish Rail.

This comes in an effort to combat seating issues on trains. Irish rail deals with many complaints about people’s names or booking reference numbers not appearing above pre-booked seats.

Many students are happy about this new development as they experience these issues time and time again when commuting by Irish Rail.

“I’ve had problems with my booked seat being occupied by someone else. It’s really frustrating, especially when the person refuses to move. Having an officer there would really help as they would have the authority to move the person,” said Kayleigh Gaffney, a Maynooth student who uses Irish Rail to commute to the university.

“Trying to get a seat during rush hour is a nightmare, which is why I usually pre-book my seat. Once my name wasn’t above my seat. I didn’t want to cause an argument with the lady sitting in it so I looked for another,” said Sara Carroll, Carlow IT student, who uses the service to travel home on the weekends.

The seating issues have swayed some students to find other ways of commuting.

“I tried traveling to Maynooth by train when I was in first year. The trains were packed and there was no one to help you if someone else was in your seat. I started using a private coach service instead,” said Sean Carr.

A spokesperson for Irish Rail said the rolling out of these officers is “part of a wider programme to enhance customer service”.

Other issues reported include being unable to book a train online due to the outdated website, carriages being too noisy and packed and an inadequate customer service helpline.

Another issue Irish Rail have is wheelchair accessibility. Wheelchair users have to give Irish Rail 24 hours’ notice if they plan on making a rail journey.

“Customer service officers will also assist with boarding and alighting as well as other on-board customer service requirements,” said Irish Rail in a tweet.

The officers are already present on the Dublin-Cork and Dublin-Belfast routes.


Emer Handly 

Image Credit: Irish Rail