The network of stations in the Irish Rail portfolio across the country is to receive accessibility upgrades over the next four years following a recent announcement by the government. Jim Meade, the Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) explained that the company will commence with the programme of upgrades in the coming weeks with some €3.3M being spent over 12 stations in the Irish capital, Dublin. The aim of the investment is to improve and upgrade the elevator systems in a bid to improve reliability. Dublin has a particular issue at the moment with the reliability of access equipment seeing a local campaign group claim that upwards of 12 elevators can be out of service on any particular day.
The Irish National Transport Authority is funding the project which is to see a multi-annual improvement over the coming years which will see improvements right across the network. This will be good news for both locals and visitors wishing to get about Ireland on any vacation to the country. Jim Meade said that accessibility was central to the improvement strategy and will see new stainless steel elevators added to stations in Skerries, Balbriggan and Dún Laoghaire. These new heavy-duty elevators will hopefully withstand the blight of vandalism, a scourge on the Irish railway, which is often the reason for elevator outages. A further nine stations across the Dublin area will see significant upgrades to bring them to acceptable standards as well as increasing reliability for rail users.
Over the coming years, these improvements will see major disruption to the network for disabled users and a package of mitigating travel arrangements has been put in place in order to reduce inconvenience to users.