Collapse of Malahide Viaduct
August 22nd 2009
Rail Users Ireland is extremely concerned following yesterdays unprecedented collapse of part of the Malahide Estuary viaduct. This viaduct carries some of the busiest commuter trains in Ireland, it is nothing short of a miracle that the collapse did not result in a serious accident and loss of life.
This collapse raises serious questions of Irish Rail's maintenance and inspection regime. While we await the report from the Rail Accident Investigation Unit, it is essential that all bridges are inspected nationwide to ensure no critical faults have been overlooked. At this moment, it is extremely important not to be complacent.
Thankfully, while loss of life was averted, it is too convenient for Irish Rail to apologise for the 'inconvenience' caused by this huge incident. It is time Irish Rail managers stepped up the plate and stopped apologising and made an effort to address the massive impact this will have on North Dublin and beyond train services.
It is essential that there is an immediate publication of an emergency timetable, to maintain a service from Dundalk/Drogheda to Skerries. It is essential to note that the track and signaling facilitates this service. An express bus service running via the Dublin Port Tunnel should be provided as a matter of urgency, Dublin Bus have many buses lying idle
It is also vital that the full DART service to Malahide, with additional services to replace the capacity lost from Drogheda commuter trains serving Howth Junction, Portmarnock and Malahide is also restored. All DART's should be strengthened to 8 coaches to cope with this incident too.
As the bridge was built, owned and maintained by Irish Rail, they must take complete responsibility for the collapse of the viaduct and the resultant disruption passengers will experience for several weeks if not months.
Cash refunds should be offered immediately to all weekly, monthly and annual ticket holders who can no longer travel by train as a result of this unfortunate incident and must now make alternative arrangements.