Saturday 3 December 2016

Faith in our rail safety eroded

Published 11/03/2010 | 08:29

PURE good fortune saved hundreds of rail passengers from certain death or terrible injury as the viaduct just outside Malahide station on the main Dublin/Belfast line collapsed last August. Had their train plunged into the estuary, the disaster would have been one of the worst in the history of the State.

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An alert driver noticed something that made him weak with shock and, as the raging estuary tide sluiced through the supports of the railway bridge, he had the presence of mind to put his train into coast mode to glide smoothly away from danger.

Today we can report that, contrary to previous assertions, Iarnrod Eireann had been warned as long ago as 2006 that the seabed had eroded around a support pillar. Three years later, it would collapse as a packed train passed over the crippled bridge.

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