MORE than 50 cases of surfing on trams or trains have been reported by operators Irish Rail and Luas in the last two and a half years.
The treacherous activity – sometimes called “scutting” – involves a person clinging to the outside of a train or tram as it moves between stations.
Irish Rail recorded 27 incidents on its services between January 2020 and March this year. There were six cases in 2020 at a time when transport services were significantly affected by the pandemic, 18 cases in 2021 and three in the first quarter of this year.
An incident database reveals that the 27 cases took place either on the Dart service or on the northern or western suburban lines serving Dublin. There have been several cases around Killiney station on the Dart line and further cases have been reported in Monkstown, Shankill, Dun Laoghaire and Glenageary.
On other commuter lines, incidents of train surfing have been recorded at Leixlip and Kilcock in County Kildare and Coolmine in west Dublin.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) said there had been 26 cases of attempted tram surfing on Dublin’s Luas service since the start of 2020.
One of the most disastrous surfing cases happened on a Luas service where a teenager suffered life-changing injuries after falling from a moving tram. The 13-year-old was seriously injured after the 2010 incident, with a court case ending in a €550,000 settlement.
The High Court was told at the time that the placement of metal strips to prevent adhesion between the door and the body of light rail trams had contributed to the deterrent.
Irish Rail has previously said that new vehicle specifications require manufacturers to adapt their design to ‘prevent or minimize risk’. “For example, we will reduce the edges or the handles so that it is difficult to hold on to them. Most of our doorsteps are covered,” he said.