Irish Rail’s new carriages — which are to be inserted into long-distance commuter and intercity railcars — will have flip-down seats in its multipurpose area, where bicycles will be allowed to be stored.
Photos of the layout of the multipurpose area, seen by IrishCycle.com, were posted on Twitter earlier today but deleted sometime later.
The approach of having bicycle storage at flip-down seats is used on intercity and commuter trains in the Netherlands, see photos below.
The 41 Irish Rail carriages started to arrive in September and are expected to enter service in 2023. The carriages amount to a €150 million investment.
The multipurpose location on Irish Rail trains allows for extra storage on trains that currently generally only have two spaces.
Irish Rail’s website explains: “The existing train already has capacity for 2 x bicycles. These additional new carriages have a further 2 nominated bicycle spaces (with locating straps) in the multipurpose area. However this multipurpose area can accommodate a variety of uses for example such as a larger group of bicycles and cyclists provided they are attended during the journey or families with buggies and so on.”
The layout in both the drawing previously published and the photos today indicate that the multipurpose area will have direct access to the exterior doors on the carriage — meaning it should be easier to navigate with a bicycle compared to the current bicycle spaces which are accessed via a narrow corridor.
The interior automatic sliding door will to be located between the multipurpose area and the standard seating area in the carriage.
The previously published layout of the new carriages showed fewer seats — the area will now be lined with flip-down seats.
Layout on Dutch trains:
Dublin-Belfast train can be stressful for cyclists who get on or off anywhere outside Dublin or Belfast. You have to rush to the very end of the train to leave the bike – then rush back again past two long carriages and past moody, impatient train service personnel (looking at their watches) to get on the train. The staff (one obnoxious guy in particular) pressurize you when doing this. If you cycle down to the bike carriage (to try help them) they shout “walk” If you walk the shout “hurry.” Obnoxious. The photos above appear preferable as we could just stay in the bike carriage instead.
(As long as there are no passengers sitting on those seats).