Snow cripples IÉ services after ‘Beast from the East’ bites

THE so-called ‘Beast from the East’ weather front and the subsequent arrival of Storm Emma hit Iarnród Éireann-Irish Rail (IÉ) services hard in early March, with numerous cancellations across the network.

As the freezing temperatures and snow settled in on February 28, IÉ cancelled afternoon and evening services between Dublin Connolly and Maynooth, while trains between Grand Canal Dock and Hazelhatch, and Newbridge and Dublin Pearse, were similarly affected.

A snow-covered ‘201’ No. 206 departs Dublin Connolly with the 09.30 ‘Enterprise’ to Belfast Central on February 28. CHRIS PLAYFAIR

Some Intercity trains connecting Dublin Heuston and Carlow, Portlaoise and Kildare did not run either, the last Heuston departure being the 22.10 to Portlaoise.

A similar picture was presented the following morning (March 1) after IÉ engineers worked through the night to enable services to resume in the morning. No trains ran through Phoenix Park Tunnel and early Connolly trains were affected by a points failure, as were a number of DART services.

The DART suffered doubly from its proximity to the sea after a tidal surge caused flooding at Salthill, thereby suspending all operations between Pearse and Bray. A rail replacement bus provided alternative transport.

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