Train hits car at crossing
A COLLISION between a train and a four-wheel-drive vehicle is being investigated by both Iarnród Éireann and the Rail Accident Investigation Unit.
The woman driving the car and eight rail passengers had a remarkable escape.
The crash happened at a level crossing near Birdhill, Co Tipperary.
The gates there are operated by users lifting them and checking that the line is clear.
After they have crossed, users must close the gates behind them to protect others.
One theory being investigated is that the woman had driven through the crossing without being aware that the gates had been left open by another motorist.
The crash – which occurred at Cappadine, also known as Kelly’s Cross – happened at 8pm on Monday evening.
The woman was taken to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick, where she is being treated for shock.
There were eight passengers on the train which left Ballybrophy, Co Laois, at 6.20pm, for Colbert Station in Limerick city.
According to an Iarnród Éireann spokesman, there were no reports of injuries to those on the train.
Spokesman Barry Kenny said, he could not comment while the incident was under investigation. “We’ve reduced them [user-operated crossings] from around 2,000 to 1,000 including farm-to-farm as well as road crossings.
“I’d urge people to use the gates correctly. They are for people’s own safety.
“If they are not used correctly by one person they are putting others at risk.”
“The train was travelling at 25mph. There was no damage to the train after it was inspected,” added Jane Cregan from Iarnród Éireann.
“The driver of the car was taken to hospital. I understand her injuries were not serious.
“There were eight passengers on board the train at that time as well as the driver and a ticket-checker.
“None of the people on board the train suffered any injuries, and they were removed from the scene by bus,” she said.
“The train proceeded on into Birdhill, a short distance from where it happened.
“There was no visible damage to the train but it has been taken to one of our depots to be examined.”
One of the passengers who was travelling on the train to Castleconnell, Co Limerick, was provided with a taxi to his destination.
The remaining seven passengers got off the train at Birdhill.