New-look Enterprise train gets off to shaky start
Call for refunds as train delayed for 90 minutes
Translink faces having to hand out full refunds to passengers who travelled on its newly-refurbished Enterprise train's first journey from Dublin to Belfast yesterday.
The new-look train was launched to a fanfare, with politicians and company chiefs there to see it off.
But it was delayed for around 90 minutes due to an "operational incident" outside Dublin on the return leg.
A Translink spokesperson told the Belfast Telegraph this was the result of low rail adhesion, which is often caused by leaves on the tracks.
And last night there was speculation about whether the train - part of a £12.2m upgrade - will be back to work today.
The spokesperson said: "The train left Dublin on time at 11am yesterday morning and travelled at a reduced speed to Dundalk, where it was fully assessed before completing its journey to Belfast.
"Passengers were kept informed and we apologise for the inconvenience caused."
The Enterprise train was then pulled off duty when it arrived back in Belfast and was not allowed to complete its planned journeys to and from Dublin later yesterday afternoon.
Mark Gleeson of Rail Users Ireland told the Belfast Telegraph that he was disappointed by the day's events.
He said: "Let's not forget that this train is already six months late in coming into operation and we are still waiting on the rest of the fleet to be completed.
"Passengers travelling on the train were delayed for around 90 minutes and it would be very bad form if Translink refused them a refund under these circumstances.
"Surely all of this could have been avoided.
"The train should have been absolutely bulletproof before it set off this morning."
According to the Enterprise passenger charter, customers will be entitled to full reimbursement of the price of their ticket if they are delayed by 90 minutes or more.
The Translink spokesperson advised any customers who are seeking a refund to contact customer services.
Customers who were delayed were, at least, sitting comfortably as the new Enterprise trains boast tasty food and drinks menus, luxury seating, plush new carpets and new tables and power points.
There is also a waiter service for Enterprise Plus customers.
In a statement, Chris Conway, Translink Group chief executive, said that the new service "looks and feels like a modern new train with an emphasis on comfort, service and value".
"Whether travelling for business or leisure, Enterprise is the smart move for hassle-free journeys," he said.
It is hoped that the rest of the refurbished trains will be in operation by the end of 2015.