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Unread 23-07-2012, 01:54   #1
Colm Moore
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Default [Article] Decrease in railway bridge collisions

Decrease in railway bridge collisions

THE NUMBER of incidents involving vehicles colliding with railway bridges has dropped this year.

However, Irish Rail has reminded drivers who do not report bridge strikes that they are putting lives at risk.

The Irish Rail network includes about 400 bridges that cross public roads. Last year there were 77 incidents where trucks or other high vehicles struck bridges. Sixty-seven were under-bridge collisions while 10 were over-bridge incidents.

In the first six months of this year there were 26 incidents – 10 fewer than in the same period in 2011.

“We are seeing a continuing falling trend. This is due to a number of factors including less traffic on the road, particularly construction traffic, an increase in motorways and improved signage,” an Irish Rail spokeswoman said.

“We would appeal to all drivers of high vehicles to be aware of their height, to be aware of locations of restricted height bridges.”

She added: “If a driver ever makes contact with a bridge, please ring the emergency number displayed on all bridges. By not doing so you are risking lives.”

Each bridge carries a number to identify the structure if an incident is reported to the company.

One of the most serious incidents in recent years occurred on April 1st last in Gort, Co Galway.

Rail services between Limerick and Galway were suspended for two days after the railway bridge in the town suffered extensive damage and moved several inches in a collision.

It is expected that the cost of repairing the bridge will be about €100,000.
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Unread 24-07-2012, 02:03   #2
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Since sacrificial structures seem to be a non-runnner, here's an idea - firmly attach a package filled with fluorescent ink gel on the edge of the bridge - think like the sort they have in movies for bank notes. Vehicle impacts it but drives on - now covered in ink and easy for Plod for find them. Thoughts?
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Unread 24-07-2012, 07:04   #3
James Howard
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I've always liked the idea of having a giant spike in the bridge and having it punch through the roof of the cab impaling the driver if hits the bridge. Either that or an enormous circular saw blade rotating at high speed in front of the bridge. That would make them think about the height of their vehicle.

More seriously, I can't really see the point in making an effort to track down these guys if it ends up like the guy who took a miles worth of DART overhead cable with him and got fined 500 euro for his trouble because his marriage had broken down and his business had folded. That isn't even worth the bother of prosecution. This won't change until a train actually derails because of this and a few people get killed.

Both of the main railway bridges in Longford have sacrificial structures on them and they seem to help. The main problem they have is that one of the bridges is at an angle to the road and the trucks tend to fall over onto the pavement when they hit the bridge. It is an absolute miracle that nobody has been killed there.

I think the main reason for the decline is the decrease in construction traffic. These are guys in a rush on short runs who are probably paying more attention to the next run than the one he is doing. The guys who are long-hauling are generally a bit more focused on the job.
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Unread 24-07-2012, 12:00   #4
drumcondra commuter
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One of the year's least interesting news articles. Fact.
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