Once again, over-crowded trains at Easter

A train on the north coast. Photo: Paul Faith/PA Wire

A train on the north coast. Photo: Paul Faith/PA Wire

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Yet again Translink has let the paying public down.

As has happened repeatedly in the last few years, far too little has been done to allow for peak periods this Easter.

Travelling from Belfast to Portrush with the same number of carriages as at normal times continues to lead to dangerous overcrowding.

Most carriages this Easter week were full, with around an extra thirty passengers of all ages standing shoulder to shoulder like sardines. Children had to sit on the floor for their safety and then had fingers trampled on by adults who could barely budge.

No guard-conductor is seen throughout the 90 minute journey – even if he wanted to, he could not have moved through the packed carriages to see the danger, let alone collect the fares of many who crowded on and got off without paying.

All of the paying passengers had paid full fare for a standing only trip and most were unable to take a seat throughout.

This happens – and has happened for years – every Easter, Christmas and from mid-June to late July, through the height of the summer holidays, until the volume of complaints and cries of passengers can no longer be taken by staff.

Ultimately, and far too late, NIR management puts on additional carriages having made a fortune in fares from the unsuspecting public.

This is a disgraceful service which has frequently been mentioned at these periods and yet Translink simply buries its collective head in the sand hoping that there won’t be an accident and that the public will simply put up with these horrendous travelling conditions.

Even the conductors privately tell us that their pleas go unheeded.

When will NIR plan and manage the service for our people and tourists in a professional and humane manner?

Dean Paul, North Antrim