Posted: December 3rd, 2018
The operators of the Luas and Irish Rail have revealed that there has been more than 110 incidents of tram/train surfing recorded on their services in and around Dublin since 2014.
This activity, which involves a person grabbing on to the exterior of a carriage as it departs a platform, came to public attention in October 2018 when 20-year-old Rebecca Kelly was awarded €550,000 in rail injury compensation for sustaining a significant brain injury in a fall. The accident in question occurred when she was a teenager and fell from the Luas that she was clinging onto.
In the accident Ms Kelly hit her head on the tracks and needed to be dragged out of the way of another tram that was approaching the platform.
In the last few weeks, a Freedom of Information request has revealed that over 35 cases of tram surfing have been registered on Luas services since 2014.
Transdev Representative Ms Dervla Brophy said: “Tram surfing can be fatal. We have had a very small number of incidents of people trying to ‘scut’ and all staff are trained to be vigilant, observe and report. The public have reported [cases] too. Any activity or even potential concern that is reported – trams will be stopped, security and or gardai called. The risk of serious injury is very high. We show CCTV of various incidents that have occurred along the lines. The purpose is to request parents know where their kids are and if they are on the lines, they’re aware just how dangerous their playground might be.”
In response to a separate Freedom of Information Irish Rail stated that 87 incidents of train surfing have been registered 2016. In the past three years 12 train surfing incidents occurred on the Northern commuter route linking Dublin and Dundalk. All of the officially recorded incidents happened on the services provided by the Dart commuter link.
Irish Rail spokesperson Barry Kenny, commenting on the revelations, stated: “On board staff, station staff and security personnel are vigilant in ensuring we respond with security or garda support. Extra security patrols this year are yielding a reduction in the number of incidents.”
Irish Rail also made public that they have made some changes to the exterior of the Dart fleet of 76 carriages to make them more difficult to hold onto in a bid to halt the train surfing efforts.