Rail Chaos on Midleton and Cobh Trains to last Months

By Seamus Whelehan


Delays and cancellations to services on the Midleton and Cobh rail lines are set to last months, due to a shortage of drivers.
Iarnrod Eireann bosses say disruption will continue for two months because of logistical challenges in training staff, while at the same time trying to run a full service.
The news is likely to anger commuters further, who are being forced to put up with the disruptions.
The Cork service is operating on 5 less staff than required, due to what the National rail operator states are" industrial relations issues which saw driver training halted over the past two years".
The company say the industrial dispute has now been resolved, but it will take some months before the situation improves.
Last Saturday the driver shortage resulted in a curtailment of service to Cobh after 4pm from Cork, with no trains travelling to Midleton after 5pm.
It is understood that further disruption is planned to the rail network this Sunday, but services affected have yet to be published.
Barry Kenny, spokesperson for the rail company, said every effort is being made to ensure a full service is operated at peak times and at other times of highest demand.
He said to ensure some reliability in the service, the company is looking to operate an hourly service during peak times from Cobh and Midleton where a half hour service would normally operate, with bus transfers provided where possible.
Dermot O’Leary, Secretary of the National Bus and Rail Workers Union NBRU has refuted claims that there was an industrial dispute which prevented the National rail service from training staff.
Mr O’Leary said the driver shortage was just poor planning on the Company’s behalf.
He said that, while there was an issue regarding a mentoring programme for DART drivers, there was an assumption by the company that a similar programme was being declined in Cork.
The NBRU Secretary said that, in fact, no driver was asked to train new recruits.