Snack trolleys will return to Irish Rail by April 24th at the latest, the organisation has confirmed.
During the pandemic, on board catering was suspended because of COVID restrictions and afterwards Irish Rail struggled to find a company able to operate the service.
There was briefly a suggestion that snack trolleys could be replaced by vending machines but in February the company announced the service would return on the Dublin-Cork route.
“This week, just as they’re recruiting, they’ll be doing some training of new staff,” Irish Rail Communications Manager Barry Kenny told Newstalk Breakfast.
“So, it’ll be a nice surprise for the people that do benefit from that but we’re expecting by 24th April at the latest to have the initial services up and running.
“It’s a trolley service and that’ll be on a couple of trains each way a day initially and then over the four weeks, just as that recruitment continues, we’ll build it to all services on the Dublin to Cork route.”
The service will only be provided by Irish Rail on the Dublin-Cork route but Mr Kenny said passengers travelling to other destinations would benefit as well.
“You’re also covering a lot of Limerick customers because most Limerick journeys involve a change at Limerick Junction,” he said.
“And most Kerry journeys as most of those involve a change at Mallow as well.
“Between those three routes and the fact we have an existing catering service on the Belfast Enterprise [service], about 50% of customers will have an onboard catering service available.”
In time, Irish Rail hopes the service will be restored on all routes nationwide.
“We are tendering for a full national contract but for the other routes it will be quite some time, unfortunately, until we’re back on board,” Mr Kenny said.
Main image: A snack trolley.