Wednesday 23 August 2017

Rail commuter chaos after tractor crashes through level crossing causing over €10k damage

Damage, estimated to be in the tens of thousands, caused

Cathal McMahon and Conor Feehan

This is the moment a tractor crashed through a level crossing in Co Kildare as barriers were closing this afternoon.

The vehicle caused significant damage to the barriers in Barberstown and at least 2,000 people were affected by knock-on delays.

A spokesman for Irish Rail explained that the incident took place shortly before 5pm, as commuters were looking to head home for the evening.

"The gates were lowering, there would have been orange lights and then red lights flashing, but this driver simply ploughed on."

Commuter trains to Maynooth as well as rail services to Co Sligo were delayed as a result with customers advised to make alternative arrangements.

An Irish Rail teamwas dispatched to the crossing and cleared the damage.

The spokesman said: "Thankfully our teams were able to get out there and remove the debris from the track."

Irish Rail are currently operating a manual service at the level crossing in Barberstown.

Delays of up to an hour were experienced by commuters, but shortly after 6.30pm Irish Rail confirmed that services were returning to normal.

The incident is expected to cost Irish Rail "tens of thousands" of euro, the spokesman added.

"We have contacted gardai. We would ask that anybody who damages a level crossing be prosecuted."

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