Irish Rail will no longer provide on-board snack options for foreseeable future
Pour one out. One you bring onboard yourself, presumably...
All things must end. Even the most convenient and delicious of things.
And so it is that the national institution that is Iarnród Éireann's onboard catering service, a mouthwatering rite of passage for anyone travelling by train, is officially no more. For now, at least.
Taken out of action by the Covid-19 pandemic, the popular snack-based fixture had become the subject of regular speculation and lament as customers wondered when normal service might resume. Alas, fate's cruel hand has wrenched the emergency brake handle into submission.
As confirmed by Iarnród Éireann, catering provider RailGourmet has advised the operator that it is no longer possible to provide catering services across the Intercity network, despite "extensive efforts" by both parties to ensure the restoration of delectable sustenance.
"Since the lifting of face covering regulations in February 2022, RailGourmet has not been in a position to resume services, primarily due to the challenges in resolving staffing issues, and significant additional costs," notes an Irish Rail spokesperson.
"As a result, a termination of the contract with RailGourmet has been agreed, and catering services will remain suspended."
Iarnród Éireann will now commence the process to tender for a brand new catering contract. Despite an announced intention to do this "quickly", catering services are unlikely to return until early 2023 at the earliest. Catering on the Enterprise network will continue on a limited basis, however, due to operating under a separate provider.
"We apologise for the inconvenience and look forward to the resumption of on-board catering as soon as possible," the spokesperson added.