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Flood damage to bridge hits DART service

BANK holiday weekend travel is set to be a major headache for thousands of rail passengers due to flood damage.

A busy stretch of the DART line in south Dublin is closed indefinitely after a bridge was damaged in Monday's floods.

Irish Rail last night halted all DART, commuter and other train services between Pearse Street and Dun Laoghaire amid concerns for a bridge near Lansdowne Road station.

Rosslare and Gorey services have also been hit, with bus transfers to ferry passengers between Bray and Dublin Connolly over the holiday weekend.

DART services from Howth/Malahide will only operate to Pearse Street station and from Dun Laoghaire to Bray and Greystones.

There will be no DART services between Pearse and Dun Laoghaire but Dublin Bus will accept rail tickets.

Other commuter services which operate from Drogheda or Maynooth to Dun Laoghaire and Bray will now only travel as far as Pearse Street station.

A spokesperson for Dublin Bus said the company will be working with Irish Rail in coming days to come up with a transport solution for stranded commuters and will be accepting rail tickets on Dublin buses.

The closure of the busy stretch of line, which is expected to hit at least 20,000 rail passengers a day, came after two large trees fell during flash floods and were swept downstream by the River Dodder.

Irish Rail revealed that the trees became lodged under the single span bridge, causing debris to build up at and under the structure.

Following an inspection by divers last night, damage to an area of ground near a bridge support was discovered.

Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny said the bridge will remain closed while safety checks are carried out, but that it was not possible to say how long this would take.

hnews@herald.ie