The Irish Rail snack trolley is finally set to return.
In a statement, Iarnród Éireann said catering services would resume on the Cork to Dublin route from early April.
They will begin on “selected services” on the route and build up to all Cork to Dublin services within weeks.
The rail company said the line also serves the vast majority of passengers travelling to Kerry (changing at Mallow) and Limerick (changing at limerick Junction), meaning, when the Belfast Enterprise line is included around half the company’s Intercity passengers will be able to access the trolley service.
An Iarnród Éireann spokesperson said: “We have been as keen as our customers to see on-board catering resume, and are delighted to be in a position to do so with this interim provision.”
“We also believe that the success of the interim service will ensure that some of the inflated costs being quoted for full catering provision across our Intercity network will be reduced through the full procurement process.”
Catering services were suspended on Irish trains for two years during the COVID pandemic.
When restrictions were lifted, the company that provided the trolley service said it was no longer able to do so due to costs and staffing issues.
Irish Rail has been tendering to other companies ever since; however, it said companies were quoting prices “many multiples” of what it had previously been paying.
As the rollout continues, Iarnród Éireann is continuing to tender for catering services on its other Intercity routes.
It is also continuing a pilot programme aimed at installing vending machines on certain trains and working to provide better retail and catering facilities in stations.
The company said the vending machines are intended to complement any onboard trolley services.