Disgruntled commuters high-jack station awards

Broombridge Station in June of this year

A train station with friendly staff and pretty flowers is what you’d expect to win Irish Rail’s best station award, but internet users have other ideas.

“It seems there is a bit of Wagner X-Factor style campaign going on here for Broombridge,” said Oliver1985, a boards.ie user referring to others saying they were voting for Broombridge Station in Dublin.

Broombridge is an unmanned, graffiti marked station located in a part-abandoned area between Finglas and Cabra on the Maynooth railway line.

Commuters who use the station report of regular destructive behaviour. Users say they see scrambler motorcycles being driven on platforms and burnt-out debris in and around the station. Train users also claim the area is a hotspot for trains being stoned or bricked.

Another user, Terrontress, said with hope: “Personally speaking, I’d love to see their press release if Broombridge won.”

However, attempts to make Broombridge the station of the year are unlikely to succeed as shortlisted stations are visited by a ‘secret shopper’.

“While as with all text and internet polls of this nature, orchestration of voting can occur, all votes for stations will be registered and shortlisted stations will then be assessed in the mystery shopper exercise as detailed on irishrail.ie,” said Barry Kenny, head of communications at Irish Rail.

Irish Rail’s best station awards asks commuters to rate stations on staff helpfulness, customer information, the station’s presentation, and staff appearance. Kenny said the company hopes overall that customers enter into the spirit of the awards, which are about rewarding staff who provide good service and encouraging improvement in customer service.

But all those who rate a station will be entered into the prize draw. Kenny said, “Customers who submit any ratings for any stations, positive or negative, will be entered into the draw for weekends away and for free travel.”

On the issues at Broombridge, Kenny said: “Regular customers of Broombridge will be aware that there is a significant anti-social behaviour issue in the immediate vicinity of the station.  Over a number of years, we have undertaken works to improve the station or replace facilities, but regrettably these have been subject to repeated vandalism.”

He added: “Overall, there would have been times when these issues have been worse than they are currently, but we liaise with Gardaí in our scheduled meetings to address such problems as they arise in Broombridge or elsewhere.”

Elsewhere, there are plans to develop the unused land beside Irish Rail’s Broombridge station. The Railway Procurement Agency wants the site to be the terminus for the Luas Broombridge line from Stephen’s Green via O’Connell Street. If the Luas line gets planning approval in December, and is then approved by Government, the agency will build a depot and stop alongside the current railway station.

BELOW: Satellite images on Google Maps captures graffiti stained platform at Broombridge:

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