Known for being an unreliable and overcrowded service the Maynooth to Dublin train line has deteriorated in recent years, but improvements are not far away, says Irish Rail.
Dublin has been ranked seventh on an international transport and traffic efficiency survey, which puts the city ahead of London and New York in terms of public transport and traffic.
This must come as a surprise to passengers on the Maynooth to Dublin line, as they have had to endure delays, packed trains and a minimal evening service for some time. One lady describeds her daily commute to RTÉ News as
Desperate...certainly for the last four months really really bad.
The ever-expanding housing estates which have spread west of Dublin in the last decade have resulted in an increase in passengers on the Maynooth line, but investment in public transport did not match the growth in population,
No-one thought to plan a transport system to cope.
The service now relies on old signaling and a single track between Maynooth and Clonsilla, and is notorious for its delays and overcrowding, as one passenger comments,
It's a very crowded train...sometimes you may not get on at all.
Over the last two years however CIÉ (Córas Iompair Éireann) have in fact invested £40 million into the route. The long-awaited new signalling system, a second track put in, platforms have been lengthened and stations renovated.
A new service with brand new trains was to commence in January, but this has stalled because of an industrial relations dispute, says Barry Kenny from Iarnród Éireann,
Our drivers are refusing to operate the rosters in an effort to re-negotiate a deal that has already been agreed nine months ago.
Tony Toibin from the SIPTU Railway Services Branch explains however that drivers have not yet been fully trained to drive the new trains.
A Labour Court hearing is due to bring some resolution in two weeks' time, which can’t come soon enough for the thousands of weay commuters who have been waiting for years for a modern efficient service.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 February 2001. The reporter is Tony Connelly.