“Irish Rail wants to use infra-red technology to help prevent bridge hits that can hold up traffic and disrupt train commuters in Laois and many other counties.”
Great idea. Just hook it up to a red traffic light and send a firing squad down.
And I remember the days when most lorries were not taller than a double deck bus too.
Good old government ripping out most of the rails. The freight could have travelled on those instead, and there would be less need (not no need, but less) to go on a motorway craze.
Should the NRA not be playing a part in resolving this problem seen as its road traffic causing the problem here.
Surely all that is required is a height restriction barrier a bit in advance of the bridge. If that slices the top of your lorry off, you ain't going anywhere near a rail bridge.
But I suppose the Nimbys will object to that ugly thing on their road or something.
Simple solutions are the best.
It's been discussed in another thread here recently about how to avoid bridge strikes. A bar like that would be pointless unless there are quite a distance away, with room for vehicles to turn about. Having them just before the bridge, doesn't mean the truck is going to be able to get away from it either.
A simple solution would be to increase penalties for those who do strike a bridge deliberately.
It happens all the time in the Limerick tunnel - if you can pass 3 signs, 2 of them illuminated, in addition to the max height VMS signs, pass a set of red lights and still arrive at the barrier - then maybe you should be off the road.
The "yera I'll give it a go anyway" followed by a bridge strike attitude needs to be dealt with.
I worked alongside the IR bridge gangs for years with GPX.
One job that took ages was lough atalia road in Galway.
Iggy Maden's truck company depot right beside the bridge. They constantly hit the bridge most scraping underneath. But a few times that did some serious damage. The whole front of the bridge needed replated .. The old decorative castings from the 1800s destroyed. took a few weeks to fix and reduced traffic to one lane in a very busy place.
Our ganger(forman) started to quiz the drivers still insisting in scraping through.
Do you know what height your rig is?
Nearly every one got it wrong. Some did not even speak English. Scary stuff..
I wonder who paid for all the work.
The road has since been lowered.
Lets ignore the missing railway lines, as it is a bit of a weak argument...
Why aren't the existing lines being used for freight? Lets not pretend that rail freight isn't happening, as the rich industrial heartlands of the likes of Donegal are not connected to Dublin. Rail freight is not happening in Ireland, as it is not very efficient over short distances.
Cork, Galway, etc are all connected to Dublin, but have minimal rail freight to Dublin. Why is that? Sure, as you said it only isnt happening, as there is no rail lines, but there is rail lines are no one is really using. Rail freight is generally only efficient with a single type of good over long distances eg coal, oil, gas, chemicals etc. Navan zinc ore used to go to Dublin Port, as it was a single source
A lot of industry is in the GDA. It is not in anyway economical for freight rail to be used for such short journeys
I don't think I said these barriers should be a metre away from the bridge itself!
It's a no brainer that they would be far enough back to allow a turn around if necessary. Albeit without a roof on the rig! But no damage to the railway bridge either.
No, but you pretty much expected that it's not been considered here previously. All I did was advise it's been challenged in a reasonable manner rather recently. Check it out...
I think in a lot of places that wouldn't work, eg bridges at or close to main junctions.
Also it a transfer of responsibility right? Irish Rail owns the bridges that get hit. But the county council would own and be responsible for the early strike setups. Including maintenance and repair. Can't see many councils taking that on, not with their attitudes.
There are buffer bars in front of some bridges. Like the ones in Monasterevin.
They are very substantial steel barriers. That can take the initial impact.
The problem I see with them is that they are still part of the bridge structure and can still push the stone work on the bridges.
To erect a second structure in front of the bridge, maybe 10 meters away, would be a big job