Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

07.33 4 Aug 2020


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More rail services are coming back on track from today.

Irish Rail has announced a further expansion, as it aims to restore all services to pre-COVID levels by 31st August.

Today will see services fully restored on the Northern Commuter, Maynooth/M3 Parkway Commuter, and Galway/Westport to Dublin routes.

Irish Rail spokesperson Barry Kenny told Newstalk Breakfast that full services resumed on the DART several weeks ago, and other services are resuming on a phased basis.

He explained: "We expect to have the full service back on all routes... by the end of this month.

"The traditional busiest commuting season occurs [in August] - albeit it will be quite a different commuting season this year."

August and September is the back-to-school season, which often leads to a spike in passenger numbers on services such as the DART.

Mr Kenny observed: "There is a significant swathe of businesses where employees will continue to work at home.

"On the DART, we're in and around 25-30% of normal loadings on weekdays at the moment - within the 50% capacity, there's quite a bit of headroom there."

"Some routes are quite considerably down - if you take somewhere like the Phoenix Park tunnel services... you're going into the area served by some very big, high-tech employers where there's quite an extended period of people working at home."

Mr Kenny said they're regularly seeing around 90% of passengers wearing masks or face coverings on services.

He suggested that the mandatory wearing of coverings in shops means bringing a mask has become part of more people's daily routine.

However, he pointed out there are some categories of people - including children under 13 and people with certain medical conditions - who are not required to wear masks on public transport.

Main image: File photo. Picture by: RollingNews.ie

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