Passengers who were wide awake this morning at Heuston Station were treated to a sneak peek of new Irish Rail intercity carriages which will boost passenger and bicycle carrying capacity.
One passenger said that 8-10 of the new carriages forming one train were sitting at a platform at the station.
A total of 41 of these carriages have to be tested ahead of entering service and will eventually be coupled to other existing carriages to form new train layouts on trains.
Earlier this year it was expected that the carriages would start entering service by the end of this month, it’s not clear if this timeline is still on track but the carriages are planned to be gradually put into use as checks are finalised.
These carriages are designed to fit the InterCity Railcars which service long-distance commuter routes to Longford, Portlaoise, and Dundalk, and InterCity services to Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Mayo, Tralee and Sligo.
Currently, these trains only have two spaces for bicycles and the bikes must be lifted up into racks which many people find awkward and inaccessible to use. The new carriages will include easy access from the side door directly into a wide open area which includes flip-down seats where bicycles can be stored.
The number of extra bicycle spaces per train will depend on the train configuration by service and route.
Back in June, Barry Kenny, a spokesperson for Irish Rail, explained that the new carriages would have two marked bicycle spaces with restraints and that a further 6 bicycles would be able to be carried in the multipurpose area but without restraints, so, the owners must stay with those bicycles.
Kenny said: “The multipurpose area has flip-up seats on both sides. Bicycle restraint straps are fitted on one side with floor markings. This allows two bicycles to be leaned against the flip-up seats and restrained by a seat belt-type strap. The intention is that these could be unattended.”
He added: “The design of the multipurpose area means bicycles can be stowed on either side, but should be attended where the restraints are not present. On certain journeys, it is envisaged that up to 6 bicycles could be carried in this area assuming that they were attended.”
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