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.