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Rail Line Collapses At Malahide
 
# 1 : Friday 21-8-2009 @ 20:00
 
 
A section of the main rail line at Malahide has collapsed. Thankfully nobody was injured.





A section of the main Dublin to Belfast railway line has collapsed in Malahide in north Dublin.

It happened this evening north of Malahide station on the viaduct across the estuary.

Iarnród Éireann says initial indications are that subsidence caused an embankment to collapse and that the damage appears to be quite bad.

The damaged line was noticed by the driver of the 6.07pm train travelling from Balbriggan to Pearse station.

The train had passengers on board but managed to stop.

The line has been closed and there are currently no northern commuter and Belfast enterprise trains running as a result.

Customers are advised to travel by Dublin Bus or Bus Éireann and bus transfers are being arranged for Dublin/Belfast services.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0821/rail.html

From what I hear the damage is quite serious. This will probably take ages to repair which will cause massive disruption to commuters.

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# 2 : Friday 21-8-2009 @ 20:43
 
 
This sucks i wont get to see my buddy for ages now. I dont fancy getting the a bus that far I will have to go without ....
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# 3 : Friday 21-8-2009 @ 22:31
 
 
I've just been talking to a guy who passed over that bridge at lunchtime today on his way to Belfast, could have been a huge tragedy.
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# 4 : Friday 21-8-2009 @ 22:45
 
 
You're right Jerry, if it wasn't for the driver of the Balbriggan train noticing something ahead didn't look right, this could have been so much worse. Considering how frequent the trains are at Friday peak time, it's a miracle this didn't collapse when there was a train passing.

The latest word from Irish Rail is that this may take a few months to repair. This will cause major disruption to all Northbound train passengers. Dart services have resumed which is some help, but anybody north of Malahide is looking at severe disruption.

I'm sure it will be revealed in the coming days, but I would like to know how a major part of one of the the busiest rail lines in the country was not inspected and allowed collapse putting thousands of lives at risk.
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# 5 : Friday 21-8-2009 @ 23:10
 
 
i'd say someones job is on the line here,there could easily have been blood on the tracks,the downtown train could have become the soul train if the driver had been a sleeper.
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# 6 : Saturday 22-8-2009 @ 16:51
 
 
This could have resulted in a huge tragedy.

90 trains use this line every day. It beggars belief that the problems with the track and viaduct weren't identified before this collapse happened. Typical sloppy Irish standards. Iarnrod Eireann will now have to do a masssive programme of inspecting all its bridges, embankments and viaducts for subsidence/faults.

And now the rail line linking the two largest cities on this island will be closed for months.

Makes you wonder if all those new motorways recently built will have subsidence problems a few years down the line.
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# 7 : Saturday 22-8-2009 @ 16:59
 
 
That's just appalling that it was allowed to get so bad it collapsed before anyone noticed a problem. Don't IE have people whose job it is to walk the tracks and inspect them? What were they looking at? It's not like there was a typhoon off Malahide yesterday, this must've happened over time.

Criminal negligence?
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# 8 : Saturday 22-8-2009 @ 17:13
 
 
I think their reaction has been very odd.

An official spokesman had this to say "Iarnród Éireann said there is “little doubt” the tidal estuary was a factor in the incident"

What the fuck is that supposed to mean - it's not our fault it was the estuary?
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# 9 : Saturday 22-8-2009 @ 17:18
 
 
Someone said :
I think their reaction has been very odd.

An official spokesman had this to say "Iarnród Éireann said there is “little doubt” the tidal estuary was a factor in the incident"

What the fuck is that supposed to mean - it's not our fault it was the estuary?

I think thats what they call the *escape clause* in other words its always an SEP, someone elses problem.
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# 10 : Saturday 22-8-2009 @ 17:26
 
 
This viaduct collapse in Malahide is by no means an isolated incident - remember the collapse of another viaduct in Cahir on the Limerick-Waterford line a few years back that resulted in the derailment of a freight train (but thankfully, no fatalities)?

http://www.rte.ie/news/2003/1007/train.html

The entire viaduct will be under suspicion now. I'd say the entire thing will have to be demolished and completely rebuilt. The Dublin-Belfast rail line could be closed for ages. And where will the money needed materialise from?

The M1 motorway will be an absolute disaster with all the extra traffic rerouted onto it because of the closure of rail services.

Also, how will the zinc ore from the Tara Mines at Navan get to Dublin Port now?
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# 11 : Saturday 22-8-2009 @ 18:45
 
 
Someone said :
That's just appalling that it was allowed to get so bad it collapsed before anyone noticed a problem. Don't IE have people whose job it is to walk the tracks and inspect them? What were they looking at? It's not like there was a typhoon off Malahide yesterday, this must've happened over time.

Criminal negligence?

The walkers look for damage to sleepers and rail fixings only. This collapse looks like a structural problem which would not have been caught without ultrasonics etc. which costs a lot of money which we have seem to lost in the banks lately.
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# 12 : Saturday 22-8-2009 @ 18:50
 
 
looking at that picture, the driver would have seen slightly distorted track ahead and been bombing along. No obvious breaks in the track so the control centre in connolly station would have not have been alerted.

We are blessed he was vigilant and stopped his train as this could have been a serious disaster.
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# 13 : Saturday 22-8-2009 @ 19:14
 
 
Apparently the bridge supports at Malahide viaduct were 160 years old and have never been replaced - the horizontal concrete slabs that carried the tracks were put in place in 1968. Heads need to roll in IE over this. This is simply unacceptable.

An a related note, there is a very old, rusty bridge that carries the Dublin to Sligo line over the River Shannon at Lough Tap. The bridge is in very poor condition and trains going over it have to slow down. Is this another bridge collapse waiting to happen?

The decrepit Lough Tap Railway Bridge
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# 14 : Saturday 22-8-2009 @ 19:18
 
 
The whole of the rail service is appalling in Ireland.Must be the worst in the EU.
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# 15 : Saturday 22-8-2009 @ 19:29
 
 
Someone said :

The walkers look for damage to sleepers and rail fixings only. This collapse looks like a structural problem which would not have been caught without ultrasonics etc. which costs a lot of money which we have seem to lost in the banks lately.

I see your point Keltickitten, but does this mean every railway bridge is potentially at risk because Irish Rail is not monitoring them? They own this bridge and have a responsibility to ensure it's safe.

Irish Rail are fortunate this incident happened on a Friday. It gives them 2 days to prepare alternative arrangements for the thousands of passengers due to travel on Monday morning. The big test will be if those plans are successful. So far, all they have mentioned is Bus Eireann honoring tickets and an enhanced service on Dublin Bus route 33. What that means, I'm not sure. There are very few spare buses available at Dublin Bus following the removal of 120 buses earlier this year. There will probably be long tailbacks on the M1 and towards the Port Tunnel next week too. You would think Dublin would have an emergency transport plan to put into place for incidents like this, something similar to operation freeflow but on a smaller scale.
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