— People trying to access greenways via trains with just 2-4 bicycle spaces has caused headaches.
Irish Rail has started to implement checks to see if people trying to board intercity trains with bicycles actually have booked the bicycle space.
Long-distance railcars, used on most intercity and some commuter services in Ireland, only have spaces for 2-4 bicycles. This excludes the normal Commuter trains, which have more space, and also excludes the trains which are generally used on Dublin-Belfast and Dublin-Cork services, which have a larger compartment for storage at one end of the train.
Booking bicycle spaces is free but mandatory. However, customers are not given a bicycle ticket, and the booking of spaces is not noted on printed tickets or on your booking confirmation email. Up till recently, the booking system has not been enforced much at all resulting in the overloading of trains, especially in the Summer months with people trying to access greenways with their own bicycles.
As of last month, ticket checking and the on-board customer service staff have started carrying out the new checks in stations such as Dublin Heuston, Waterford Plunkett and possibly at other stations. Because of the lack of a printed bicycle ticket, staff ask customers with bicycles the name of their booking to compare it with the record of provided to them.
The new checks on if passengers with bicycles have booked the limited available space comes after there were complaints recently of trains being overloaded with bicycles. In some cases, those who has booked the space were unable to travel.
Folding bicycles are allowed on all Irish Rail services without booking or restrictions.