The railway lines going up and down the east coast of Ireland have been having their share of problems in recent months. For one thing, Dublin-Belfast services were disrupted by the collapse of a viaduct near Malahide in north Dublin. Mercifully, no train was going over it at the time but the inconvenience for passengers cannot have helped the sustainability of the Enterprise service or local commuter services. Thankfully, that is behind everyone now and the hope is that any lessons to be learnt are heeded and that the economic downturn doesn’t slow down investment in the Irish rail network too much.
However, no sooner has one problem been sorted but another has surfaced. In fact, it turns out to have echoes of a one that had an impact on journeys between down the Wicklow coast earlier this year with the DART on other trains being unable to operate between Bray and Greystones because of line stability problems. Apparently, the cause of the latest round of disruption is all the rain that we have been getting in recent weeks and the result is a landslip south of Wicklow that was struck by a train running light at the time and instability south of Arklow. For passengers, travel between Wicklow and either Gorey or Enniscorthy will be by rail replacement buses until the end of the month (2009-11-30) with trains running the rest of the way. In a way, sorting the problem in a matter of weeks doesn’t sound so bad but that’s coming from someone who had to contend with a non-existant summer weekend train service for a few years because of the West Coast Mainline upgrade here in the U.K. Even so, let’s hope that nothing else afflicts east coast train services in Ireland for the forseeable future.