Drama as fire breaks out on cross-border train

June 10, 2013

The investigation is continuing into the fire which broke out on the Belfast to Dublin Enterprise train on Thursday evening.

The train was forced to pull into the disused Goragh Wood station, close to Newry, shortly after 7.00pm when a fire ignited in the engine compartment.

All 114 passengers on board at the time escaped uninjured as compartments were moved away from the source of the fire as fire crews tackled the blaze.

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service group commander Eddie Carroll said the fire was well-developed when fire crews arrived and they had difficulty getting into the engine area.

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy, who arrived on the scene, said the situation was distressing for passengers and promised a full investigation.

Passengers eventually arrived in Dublin at about 1am, almost five hours later than scheduled.

Irish Rail Communications Manager Barry Kenny publicly apologised for the inconvenience caused to passengers.

“The fire service in Northern Ireland obviously was called to the scene. Ultimately, the train couldn’t be moved at that time and there was a very significant delay,” said Mr Kenny.

He rejected suggestions that Irish Rail and Translink should have provided passengers with bus transfers instead of waiting over four hours for a replacement train to arrive.

Mr Kenny also confirmed that Irish Rail had provided hotel accommodation to three passengers and private taxis to 20 others to help them complete their journey from Connolly Station.