Our Commitment to Customer Service.
To download a copy of this Passenger Charter, please click on one of these links:
- Performance Standards & Results
- Customer Information
- How to Buy your Ticket
- Quality Standards
- Customer Service
- Please Help us to Help You
- Ticket Refunds
- Compensation Payments
- Putting Things Right
- Listening to You
- Conditions of Carriage
- Different Forms of the Charter
- Where to Contact Us
I welcome all our customers to the third edition of the Iarnród Éireann Passenger's Charter.
We introduced the passenger's charter in 1999 to underline our commitment to continuously improving customer service. The charter clearly states our performance targets and quality standards. Since 1999, independent auditors have examined our performance. We have tracked the punctuality of our trains and displayed these statistics in our stations each quarter. This allows us to compare our commitments to you with our performance. We have fulfilled those commitments in many areas, and must improve in others.
This edition of the passenger's charter reaffirms our promise to meet your expectations. We are undertaking the largest investment programme in the history of Ireland's railways. It is co-funded by the EU and Irish government under Transport 21, the capital investment framework to develop the transport system in Ireland from 2006 to 2015.
To provide you with the best possible service, we have invested in our:
That investment is continuing and we look forward to all our customers enjoying the resulting benefits in the coming months and years. The investment, together with the commitment of my Iarnród Éireann colleagues across the country, will allow us meet our promises to you in this charter, and to continue improving customer service into the future.
We know how important reliability and timekeeping are to you and we want all trains to run as scheduled. At the minimum we are committed to reaching the following targets.
- Punctuality = a measurement of timekeeping. The National Transport Authority (NTA) defines the criteria for punctuality.
- For InterCity and Commuter, it is on time or within 10 minutes of time
- For DART, it is on time or within 5 minutes of time
- Reliability = whether the train operates or not.
- All performance figures are independently verified by the NTA.
- Punctuality figures include delays outside of Iarnród Éireann’s control
Go to our Train Performance section to see how we are doing.
We are committed to 90% of all our InterCity trains arriving at their final destination within 10 minutes of the published time.
The Enterprise Passenger’s Charter for the Dublin to Belfast cross-border service sets out our standards for this line in more detail. You can get a copy of this charter (in English or Irish) at stations on the route.
Additional rights for Cross Border customers are contained in Regulation (EC) 1371-2007 of the European Parliament. Click here to read more.
Morning: targets for peak hours
Between 07:00 hrs and 10:00 hrs (7.00am and 10.00am), 90% of all DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) trains arriving in Dublin city centre will arrive within 10 minutes of the published time.
Evening: targets for peak hours
Between 16:00 hrs and 19:00 hrs (4.00pm and 7.00pm), 90% of all DART trains leaving Dublin city centre will arrive at their final destination within 10 minutes of the published time.
Dublin Commuter Services
Maynooth and Drogheda Lines
Morning: targets for peak hours
Between 07:00 hrs and 09:00 hrs (7.00am and 9.00am), 90% of all Maynooth and Drogheda line Commuter trains arriving in Dublin city centre will arrive within 10 minutes of the published time.
Evening: targets for peak hours
Between 16:00 hrs and 19:00 hrs (4.00pm and 7.00pm), 90% of all Maynooth and Drogheda line Commuter trains leaving Dublin city centre will arrive at their final destination within 10 minutes of the published time.
Morning: targets for peak hours
Between 07:00 hrs and 10:00 hrs (7.00am and 10.00am), 90% of all Kildare line Commuter trains arriving in Heuston Station, Dublin, will arrive within 10 minutes of the published time.
Evening: targets for peak hours
Between 16:00 hrs and 19:00 hrs (4.00pm and 7.00pm), 90% of all Kildare line Commuter trains leaving Heuston Station, Dublin, will arrive at their final destination within 10 minutes of the published time.
Improvements to Track, Stations and Signalling
At the time of re-issuing this charter, our extensive investment programme continues.
This programme is designed to improve the quality of track, signalling and station facilities, which inevitably will result in some temporary disruptions to services.
Whenever we can foresee them, we will tell you about these disruptions in advance.
If there is a delay or we have cancelled a service, we will tell you why.
When we advertise a change to the timetable, we will measure our performance against the new service times.
We will give you information on our services through our:
- customer information centre;
- talking timetable phone number;
- station staff:
- twitter @irishrail
- facebook http://www.facebook.com/iarnrodeireann
A list of phone contact numbers is at the end of this document.
We will publish the complete InterCity, DART and Commuter timetable in a booklet annually. There will be a nominal fee for the booklet to cover our production costs.
We will also publish, and provide free of charge, individual route and DART station-specific timetable sheets and leaflets
The relevant timetables will be displayed at all our stations.
Passengers with Special Needs
We welcome passengers with special needs and are committed to providing a service that everyone can use.
Many of our stations and trains are now fully accessible for passengers with special needs. Investment is in place so that we can make all our stations and trains fully accessible in the future.
Full details of facilities in each station are in our ‘Guide for Rail Passengers with Disabilities’, which is available free in all staffed stations.
You may also get this guide by phoning our accessibility officer at +353 (0)1 703 2634 or your local station.
We will be better able to help you if you contact us as far in advance as possible. We ask that you give us at least 24 hours notice of your journey. If you cannot contact us in advance, we will still do our best to help you on the day of travel.
Equality and Diversity
We are committed to providing services to customers who may need special help. As far as possible we design our services to make sure that our customers' rights, established under the Equal Status Act, are fully respected. The Equal Status Act covers issues including: disability, age, gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, race and membership of the Traveller Community.
You can buy your ticket at:
- a ticket office;
- a ticket vending machine at the station;
- by phone at 1850 366 222 (from outside Ireland +353 1 8366 222);
online at http://www.irishrail.ie/ for InterCity rail travel.
At the Station Ticket Office
We will try to sell you the best ticket to meet your travel needs.
If you do not already have a ticket, you should arrive at the station in time to get one. Everyone must have a valid ticket before boarding the train.
During advertised hours of business, you should be able to buy your ticket in seven minutes or less. Outside our busy peak periods, we aim to serve you within three minutes. This excludes exceptional circumstances.
At a Station Ticket Vending Machine
You can buy a range of tickets from the automatic ticket vending machines that are in many stations. You must make your outward journey on the same day as you buy this type of ticket.
InterCity Tickets by Phone at 1850 366 222 (from outside Ireland +353 1 8366 222)
You can buy Intercity rail tickets from us by phone, using your credit or laser card, between 08:30 hrs and 18:00 hrs (8.30am and 6.00pm), Mondays to Fridays.
InterCity Tickets Online at http://www.irishrail.ie/
You can use the internet to buy tickets and reserve premium, first-class and standard-class rail journeys on most of our Intercity services.
You should arrive at the departure gate at least 20 minutes before your Intercity train is scheduled to leave.
Passengers with Free Travel Facilities
If you have a free travel pass issued by the Department of Social Protection, you are entitled to travel free on all Iarnród Éireann's scheduled services listed in the InterCity, Commuter and DART timetable.
If you have a free travel pass, you must present it at the ticket office on the day you are travelling. We will give you a rail ticket to travel, which you must show to our staff when asked. You must also show your free travel pass to any Iarnród Éireann official who asks to see it.
You Must Have a Ticket on the Train
Everyone must have a ticket to travel by train.
If you do not have a valid ticket for travel we will charge you a fixed penalty fare of up to €150. If your ticket requires an ID card, you must have that card with you when travelling. If you don't have the ID card with you, we will charge you a fixed penalty of up to €150.
You must have a ticket at the automatic exit-entrance validation gate
There are automatic ticket validation gates in some rail stations and we intend to introduce them into more stations soon. You must have a valid rail ticket to enter or exit through these gates. If you don't have a valid ticket when you are exiting through these gates, you will be liable to pay a penalty fare.
Getting a Seat on Board
We monitor our timetables to match peak and off-peak passenger demand on Intercity services. Our continuing investment programme will allow us to better cater for the steady increase in rail passenger numbers.
Reserving a seat on InterCity
You can reserve seats through our website at www.irishrail.ie/, or by phoning 1850 366 222 (from outside Ireland +353 1 8366 222.
DART and Commuter
Commuter trains are designed and operated to carry the maximum number of passengers safely and reliably, particularly at peak times. Passengers on DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) and Commuter trains may have to stand during hours of high demand.
We aim to answer 90% of calls to our phone information bureau within 60 seconds. Its hours of business are - Monday to Friday, 08:30hrs to 18:00hrs.
We will make sure that all trains are thoroughly cleaned every day before they are used. Where possible during the day we will make sure that trains are cleaned for the start of each new journey. The exteriors of all trains are scheduled to be washed at least three times a week.
Smoking is prohibited on all services.
There is a catering service on most Intercity trains. Details of when the service is available are included in our public timetable.
We will try to let you know before the train leaves if the advertised on-train catering service is unavailable.
If you are delayed for over an hour while travelling with us, we will offer you a complimentary non-alcoholic drink where train catering facilities exist and where stocks are available.
Public address systems
We will use our public address systems to keep you informed and we will keep them in good working order. When service delays and disruptions occur, we will tell you what has caused them and how long we expect them to last.
Wherever possible there will be comfortable waiting areas that protect you from the weather. We aim to make facilities accessible to everyone.
You may not smoke in enclosed station buildings or waiting areas, including fully roofed platforms.
At stations that are staffed, we will inspect all public areas throughout the day and keep them clean and litter free. At stations that are not staffed, we will inspect stations at least three times a week.
We will clean toilets regularly.
We will provide you with clear, up-to-date information on our services.
We will keep any electronic passenger information and public address systems in good working order and use them to keep you informed, especially in case of delays.
When service delays and disruptions occur, you will be kept informed of their causes and how long they are expected to last.
Our website, posters and information on display will be checked regularly to ensure accuracy.
We will use our website and posters to let you know in advance about planned maintenance work.
We know how important it is that you receive good customer service from our staff at all times.
We expect our staff to:
- be polite and helpful;
- consider your safety and comfort;
- wear their appropriate uniform;
tell you about delays or changes to services;
give you the best value ticket for your chosen journey;
never smoke, drink, eat or chew gum when on duty and in contact with customers.
To make your rail journey as safe and as pleasant as possible for you and your fellow passengers we ask you to please do the following.
Do not sit in seats that are shown as ‘reserved’ on the overhead visual display or by other means.
Arrive at least 20 minutes before your InterCity train is due to leave.
For everyone's safety, walk, don't run.
- Stay behind the yellow lines on the platforms and make sure that the train has stopped before you try to open a door.
Let people get off the train before you get on.
Always keep your ticket ready for inspection.
Put your luggage only in the areas provided and do not block the aisles or seats.
- Leave toilets as clean as you find them.
- Smoke only where it is permitted.
- Use the litterbins provided.
Do not leave litter on the floors of trains or stations.
- Do not put your feet on the seats.
Do not attempt to open the door to exit until the train has come to a complete stop.
Give up your seat to customers with special needs.
We will not tolerate abusive behaviour or assaults on Iarnród Éireann staff and we will seek to prosecute offenders under our bye-laws.
Refunds for tickets purchased at ticket offices or ticket vending machines
If you decide not to use a ticket you have bought, you can apply for a refund at any main Intercity station, the DART Office at Pearse Station or any Travel Centre. When your application is processed we will contact you by post.
When you buy a ticket in advance, we will only give you a refund if you return it before the day you were due to travel. We will normally charge an administration fee and we may ask for extra evidence to support your claim for a refund.
Immediate refunds on unused tickets purchased at ticket offices
When you buy tickets on the day of travel and you decide not to take the train, we will give you a full refund provided you return your unused ticket immediately to the ticket office at which you bought it.
Refunds for tickets purchased online
If you reserve your ticket online the following refund rules apply.
Tickets will only be eligible for a refund if you present them for cancellation before the time your outward train journey is due to start.
Tickets cancelled up to the day of travel - refund of 80% of the ticket price
Tickets cancelled on the day of travel - 50% refund
Online bookings for special services or promotions have their own conditions for refunds.
Refund policies for these are available when you are booking.
Changes and cancellations
Refunds for tickets bought at other outlets
If you did not buy your ticket from us, you should return it to the place where you bought it. They will arrange any refund due and may apply an administration charge.
Discounts if you are delayed
If, because of circumstances we control, you are more than one hour late arriving at the station you are going to, we will offer you discount vouchers to use when you buy future tickets. The value of discount vouchers is based on the length of delay and the fare paid for the single journey affected.
One to two hours 50% in vouchers
Two hours or more 100% in vouchers
Discounts if we fail to give you the service you pay for
If the seat you reserved is not available and there is no other available seat of the same standard on the same train, we will refund you the fare of your single journey in travel vouchers.
How to claim your discount vouchers
To apply for discounts you need to fill in an application form, which is available from the ticket offices in all main stations, Travel Centres and the DART office, Pearse Station, Dublin.
When you apply for discount vouchers you must:
attach your ticket to the completed form to prove you bought it; and
give us any other supporting evidence we need.
Delays outside our control
We cannot accept claims for delays that are outside our control. These include those caused by:
pre-advertised timetable alterations due to engineering works;
- security alerts;
- industrial action taken without notice;
- extreme weather conditions;
- vandalism; or
other activities carried out by people who do not work for us.
Putting things right locally
We welcome any comments and suggestions that you have about improving our service. If you were not happy about any part of our service, we would like to know about it. We can resolve most problems at local or station level.
Putting things right with our customer relations department
You may prefer not to resolve your problem at local level, or you have tried to do so and are still not satisfied. If so, you may contact the relevant local customer relations office.
For Sligo; Waterford and Rosslare InterCity routes, and all Commuter routes serving Connolly Station contact:
Customer Relations, Connolly Station, Dublin 1.
Phone +353 (0)1 703 2601.
For Cork; Limerick; Kerry; Galway and Mayo Intercity routes; Cork-Cobh-Mallow and Limerick-Ennis Commuter services and all commuter trains serving Heuston Station contact:
Customer Relations, Heuston Station, Dublin 8.
Phone +353 (0) 1 703 4499.
For DART services contact:
Customer Relations, DART, Pearse Station, Dublin 2.
Phone +353 (0)1 703 3504.
You should send us your train ticket if you are making a complaint. It is helpful if you also include as much detail as possible, such as:
- date and time of travel;
- where you were leaving from and travelling to;
- your phone number in case we need more information.
If we cannot give you an immediate response, we will send you an acknowledgement of your letter within three working days. We aim to respond to your letter fully within 15 working days.
However, if there is going to be a delay, we will let you know why and when you may expect to receive a detailed reply.
Not all emails will receive a response, but we will take all email comments into account and will act on them where necessary.
We want to be able to sort out your problems as quickly as possible. We can often do this by talking things through with you, so we will not normally reply in writing to an oral complaint.
We will thoroughly and fairly investigate all complaints.
In all cases, we will give you a full explanation and an apology when we have made a mistake.
If you are not satisfied with how our customer relations division has responded to your complaint, you may ask the Customer Relations Manager to refer your case to Iarnród Éireann’s internal board of appeal.
The appeals board will reply to you within four weeks of the appeal being submitted.
Iarnród Éireann welcomes your comments, suggestions and views on any aspect of our services because this will help us to better meet your needs.
To be sure that we are giving you the level of service you expect, an independent research company will conduct research twice a year to measure our actual performance against the targets published in this charter. They will also verify how well you think we are doing.
We will publish the results of this research through station leaflets and posters and, more importantly, we will take action to improve matters where you tell us this is needed.
This charter does not create any new legal relationship with you nor does it affect your legal rights or obligations. These are shown in our Conditions of Carriage booklet, copies of which are available at main stations.
This charter is also available on audio tape, Braille and large print from the Marketing Department at Iarnród Éireann, Connolly Station, Dublin 1.
Phone Dublin +353 (0)1 703 2634
Please go to our Contact Us section.
Automated phone enquiry service (24 hrs):
1890 77 88 99
Customer Information Centre:
(Comments, suggestions, complaints)
Northern and Eastern routes
- Dublin - Sligo route;
- Dublin - Waterford and Dublin - Rosslare routes;
all Commuter routes to and from Connolly Station.
Contact: Customer Relations, Northern and Eastern, Connolly Station, Dublin 1.
Phone: +353 (0)1 703 2601.
Southern and Western routes
- Dublin - Cork route;
- Dublin - Limerick route;
- Dublin - Kerry route;
Dublin - Galway and Mayo routes;
all Commuter routes to and from Heuston Station;
Cork-Cobh-Mallow and Limerick-Ennis Commuter services.
Contact: Customer Relations, Southern and Western, Heuston Station, Dublin 8.
Phone: +353 (0)1 703 4499.
For comments, suggestions or complaints about the DART contact:
Customer Relations, DART, Pearse Station, Dublin 2.
Phone: + 353 (0)1 703 3504.
Rail Passenger Rights
In addition to Iarnród Éireann's Customer Charter rail passenger rights are now protected by EC Regulation 1371/2007 . The Regulation provides a range of measures to protect rail passengers and their belongings when travelling by train within the European Union. In Ireland, this is regulated by the National Transport Authority. Details on these rights, as well as appeals procedures for complaints relating to these rights, are available at http://www.nationaltransport.ie/public-transport-services/passenger-rights/
This Charter reflects the standards of service and initiatives outlined in the "Principles of Quality Customer Service for Customers and Clients of the Public Service" set out in Appendix C of the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies published by the Department of Finance.
The information in this charter is correct at time of going to print, July 2008.