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Merrion Gates smash leads to traffic chaos

THIS is the crash at the busy Merrion Gates level crossing that caused disruption to thousands of rail commuters.

The accident at 5.30am yesterday also created long tailbacks on the roads, stretching back to Stradbrook Road in Blackrock on Dublin's southside.

It followed another incident at the crossing on Sunday evening when signals at the gates failed.

The gates are controlled by Irish Rail operators in a central traffic control room using CCTV, but the accident early yesterday morning knocked out "the whole of the signalling and the electrical equipment," Irish Rail spokeswoman Jane Cregan said.

"We had to manually guide trains through the crossing during the day."

Yesterday morning, trains were delayed as engineers worked to repair the "significant" damage.

At different stages during the day, the line was restricted to one direction only, but both directions were closed yesterday afternoon for a time as repair staff worked on the problem.

"The priority was to get it fixed," Ms Cregan added.

"The crash caused significant damage and will involve major cost to us not only in terms of staff, but in raw materials."

The busy southside commuter line sees a train passing through the Merrion Gates crossing every 15 minutes with up to 700 commuters on it.