Passengers on board the cross-border Enterprise service were told the train could only go backwards after it broke down south of the Irish border.
The Enterprise train broke down south of the border
Thursday's 2045 BST service between Dublin and Belfast returned to Dundalk where passengers were due to be bussed north.
However, there was also a problem with the coach. It seems only one headlight was working.
Translink has apologised and said passengers would be compensated.
Seamus McCracken who was on the train said he ended up getting a taxi to Belfast.
"A coach pulled up and we were told that would bring us to Belfast. I noticed the coach had only one light working on the front of it," he said.
"I mentioned this to the driver and to the staff from the railway. They basically told me: 'Well if you are not happy get off the coach'. "
Another passenger, Linda Doris, said she was angry after the train was stranded for about an hour when it broke down.
In a statement, transport company Translink said there had been a mechanical failure on the train.
"The train failed near the border and unfortunately could only be driven from the Dublin end of the train," it said.
"Passengers were taken to Dundalk where they were either bussed or taxied to their onward destinations.
"Health and safety of passengers is paramount and we will investigate any concerns or complaints passengers may have.
"Passengers will be entitled to compensation in line with our passengers' charter."