Irish Rail should run its own trolley service if it can’t find anyone else to do it, a Sinn Féin TD has said.
Cork TD Thomas Gould uses the train every week to commute from his Cork constituency to Dublin and told Newstalk Breakfast the service is hugely missed.
“I spoke to Irish Rail [and] the minister and what they’re saying is they can’t find a private operator to run the service,” he said.
“So, that means a train from Tralee or Cork and if you don’t have a bottle of water or a snack [you can’t get one].
“People might say, ‘People should have mineral water or snacks’ - but this is a real service that we’re running in the country.
“These are minimums that we should be at least requiring to provide and if they can’t get a private contractor, why can’t we go back to the days where Irish Rail had staff?”
As an alternative, he suggested Irish Rail could have vending machines installed on board.
“Even at the minimum, would they put in machines where people could access a bottle of water?” he said.
“I was on a train there before Christmas that broke down and it took me five hours to get to Dublin.
“On that train, you had elderly people, people who had families and there wasn’t a bottle of water on the train.
“Listen, it’s 2023 - we need to offer a better service and the people want it.”
Deputy Gould admits this is not a “huge issue” but said a trolley service would benefit both Irish Rail and passengers alike.
“At the end of the day we have Irish Rail there to provide a service,” he said.
“They would make money off it - or at least at a minimum break even and you’re giving people jobs.”
Main image: A food trolley cart is seen on the Enterprise train between Belfast and Dublin in March 2019. Picture by: Radharc Images / Alamy Stock Photo