Skip navigation

Category Archives: Irish Rail

>

Irish Rail have problems and is actively ripping off their customers.

I traveled from Limerick to Maynooth the other day. My colleague had pre-booked and bought his ticket online and had no problem getting his ticket based on his reservation code. His ticket covered Limerick Colbert – Dublin Heuston [Luas tram] Connolly Station – Maynooth.
I really don’t trust Irish rail’s pre-booking system as it has failed me in the past, a couple of years ago. Anyhow, the way things used to be was that the Good Olde Manual Ticket Office would always open 10 minutes before departure, even at the ungodly hour of 05:30 in the morning. Not anymore…. This left me trying to book and buy my ticket from one of the ticket vending machines in Colbert station. The big surprise was that the machine refused to show Maynooth as a destination, probably because the journey would require a change in Dublin, from Heuston to Connolly station, via a tram journey on the Luas

I asked two sleepy staff at the station, who were present only to check that passengers actually had tickets, but these two rail-workers could not, manually, sell me a ticket, hence my only option was to buy a ticket for just going to Dublin, and buy the next ticket when I got there.


In Dublin, at Heuston station, the ticket machines could not provide a ticket to Maynooth either. 
Eventually at Connolly station, the machines listed Maynooth, but were offline and could not handle payment with a debit or credit card, but finally I managed to get a ticket from the manual ticket sales.
Later, during my return journey, I verified that the reverse was also true, i.e. that you can’t buy a ticket for Limerick in the Maynooth or Dublin Connolly stations.


I asked the staff in Maynooth, and was told that Irish Rail have at least three different, separate, not interconnected, ticketing systems. The manual ticket offices have the oldest ticket machines that cannot print an integrated ticket. The web-based ticketing system can sell you any possible kind of ticket, as an integrated ticket that can include train and tram, changes, etc. Such a transaction results in a booking number that you then enter on the ticket vending machine in the station, and your ticket is printed. But… on the booking screen of the vending machines in each station, only stations connected directly to the station your originating from are listed. 
Finally, analyzing the cost, my colleague who bought his ticket online paid €67, including Luas. 
If you buy all three tickets offline as you go, like I was forced to do, the cost is  €47 + €2.90 + €6 = €55.90
So why would Irish Rail charge their customers almost 20% more if a customer buys their ticket on-line? Not even Ryanair would be so daft.
I think this is yet another simple and clear example that Irish semi-state companies are not joining the dots, live in cloud-cuckoo-ballygobackwards land and just focus on ripping us off.