Passengers were “really distressed” and close to panicking in “sweltering” DART carriages before they opened the doors and began walking along the tracks yesterday.
Iarnród Éireann has promised to investigate the chaos enroute to the Bray Air Display – which saw passengers pulling the emergency handles to escape the heat on two packed trains.
The train service has claimed the passengers’ actions turned a five-minute delay into two hours – with no trains able to run while people were on the tracks.
On Lunchtime Live however, passengers had a different view of what happened.
Stefan Teehan said he had waited for a train for over an hour at Glenageary, with every one that went by “absolutely packed”.
“Eventually, when we did get on to one, it was a very, very busy train which we thought would be bearable for a 15-minute journey from Glenageary to Bray,2 he said.
“What should have been a 15-minute journey turned out … well we got at 2:30pm and we didn’t actually get off the train until 4pm.
“It was sweltering is the only way to describe it. We were told there was a delay with a passenger on a train in front of us and there would be a five-minute delay.
“Five minutes became half an hour and became an hour and people were really starting to get distressed.”
He said the heat quickly became a real problem.
“The train was wedged,” he said. “Absolutely wedged.”
“The temperature inside the train was so hot that parents were stripping their kids down, getting them out of their clothes.
Perfectly normal scenes as the Gards, paramedics and fire brigade are on the Dart line, no services in or out of Bray for a few hours, people being told to get buses, its a mess pic.twitter.com/f4m6GUbaTZ
— MarC with a C like it should be (@mcbadcalf) July 24, 2022
“We were trying to get the kids to the windows so they could get some air. If there was air conditioning there, it wasn’t working sufficiently.
“It got to the point where people were really getting to the point where a panic could break out. It was fairly scary.”
He said the carriage was “exceptionally hot.”
“We were soaked in sweat,” he said. “Our skin was soaked.
“We had drinks in our bags and we ended up passing them out to people around us because people were really, really uncomfortable.”
— Freddie Stevens (@_andStevens) July 24, 2022
He said eventually, a passenger pulled the emergency handle to open the doors, “because it was turning into a situation which could have gotten much, much worse.”
“No parent wants to walk along a railway line with their child but the situation on that carriage was getting dangerous and people had to get off,” he said.
“It was awful. Not a comfortable experience at all.”
Also on the show, caller Pip said she was in the other train, outside Bray station.
She rejected Iarnród Éireann’s five-minute delay claim – insisting the train was sitting idle for at least 20 minutes before anyone opened a door.
“It escalated then when a woman down the back of the carriage started to feint and another woman then had a panic attack,” she said.
“Of course, once one person starts freaking out, everyone else starts to freak out and children started to get upset and elderly people couldn’t breathe, so it was just horrible.
“Somebody opened the door to let air in and the people started to get off. They shouldn’t have but they did. A few people not everybody.”
She said people were covered in sweat and the atmosphere was really tense.
“People were taking the clothes off their children because the children were overheating and crying and screaming,” she said. “It was very distressing.”
You can listen back to the full segment here: