FARE dodgers have been stopped in their tracks as a result of the new automatic ticket checking turnstiles at Dublin's rail stations.
Revenue from ticket sales have increased by more than seven percent since the turnstiles were fitted.
The company believes that this is the amount that fare dodgers previously avoided paying.
Piloted at Grand Canal Dock last year, the automatic ticket validation is now also in place at Blackrock, Lansdowne Road, Clontarf Road, Docklands and Adamstown Station.
The system was introduced to the busy city stations of Tara Street and Connolly at the beginning of the year.
It requires customers to put their tickets through an automatic turnstile on entering and exiting stations, as opposed to the barrier gate check or open turnstile.
An analysis of revenue just completed by Iarnrod Eireann revealed the benefit of the new turnstiles in combating fare evasion.
The company is planning to extend automatic ticket checking to other stations along its network.
The new turnstiles installed as part of the system have a quicker throughput of customers than older turnstiles.
They are also equipped with smartcard readers, to be fully compatible with the future public transport smartcard system under development by the Rail Procurement Agency, which will include Dart and commuter rail.
The smartcard, allowing commuters hop between bus, tram and rail on a single ticket, has been dogged by controversy and delays. More than €14m has been spent on developing the system, with nothing to show for the money.
Dr John Lynch, CIE and Iarnrod Eireann chairman said yesterday they had committed significant additional resources to clamping down on fare evasion.
Revenue from fines and prosecutions until April this year is already at 86pc of the total collected for the whole of 2006.
Iarnrod Eireann's Revenue Protection Unit has adopted a zero tolerance approach to fare evaders with offenders being issued with on-the-spot €50 fines. Tens of thousands of people are having their tickets checked every month by the company's team of travelling checkers both on board the trains and at station exits.
Dr Lynch said they took these steps to secure revenue and because customer research showed that of the things the vast majority of Dart and commuter customers hated most was to see people dodging their fares.
"With technology and with the work of our Revenue Protection Unit, we are tackling head-on an issue which every rail operator internationally has to face and overcome," added Dr Lynch.