Iarnród Éireann has apologised and offered a full refund to customers after one of its trains took almost seven hours to travel from Cork to Dublin, writes Conall Ó Fátharta.
The 4.20pm train between the two cities yesterday was supposed to arrive in the capital at just after 7pm. However, due to a major mechanical fault between Mallow and Charleville, it did not pull into Dublin until 11pm almost four hours late.
The power fault immobilised the train and also affected power systems on board, including lighting and air conditioning.
As a result of the breakdown, the 5.20pm Cork to Dublin train was brought alongside the 4.20pm service and passengers were transferred from train to train.
As customers from both services had been due to connect to other stations en route, it was decided to have the amalgamated service stop at all stations along the route to ensure customers reached their destinations as directly as possible.
Additionally, the train was held at Portarlington to ensure customers could make connections to the Galway line, and to facilitate a driver transfer with the 9pm Dublin Heuston to Cork service.
As a result, the 5.20pm service arrived in Heuston at 10.55pm, meaning passengers arrived 185 or 245 minutes late depending on the service they first boarded.
A number of passengers took to social media during the delay to complain about the lack of information from staff. Dirk Klinger, who is visiting Ireland for the first time, described the journey as hell and said he had lost out on €640 and a full day of his seven-day trip.
Des Doherty, who was seven and a half hours getting from Killarney to Dublin said passengers were left in a roasting hot train outside Mallow for an hour and given incorrect arrival time.
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.