herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

'Lucky escape' for passengers as rocks on line derail DART

a LIFE-threatening incident in which it's suspected that vandals threw rocks on to DART tracks, causing a train to derail, has been branded as "reprehensible" by Irish Rail bosses.

There were 34 people on the late night train from Greystones to the city centre when it bounced off the tracks after hitting rocks that appear to have been taken from a wall overlooking the line.

Gardai and Irish Rail have launched investigations into the incident, which could have cost lives.

An Irish Rail spokesman told the Herald: "There have been incidents in other countries where you have had fatal accidents as a result of vandalism and obstructions on sites. The potential was very severe."

He said that such obstructions can cause "a very difficult situation" but added that modern trains are built to withstand such incidents.

The derailment occurred at 11.15pm on Tuesday on the tracks at Bray Head.

Gardai have appealed for witnesses after their investigation found that the rocks on the track "may have been dislodged by unknown persons".

A spokesman said: "Gardai are anxious to speak to any person who may have been walking on the Greystones/Bray cliff walk between 8pm and midnight."

A spokesperson for Rail Users Ireland said that the 34 people on board the train had a "very lucky escape".

He added that they were "counting our lucky stars yesterday morning that there wasn't a fatality".

He said that his organisation would like to see transport police in place to deal with these kind of incidents and to ensure they are "investigated fully".

Reprehensible

Speaking earlier at the Dail Transport Committee, Philip Gaffney, the chairman designate of Irish Rail, described the incident as "reprehensible" saying it appeared to be "a deliberate act".

Irish Rail said that such incidents are extremely rare. It's the first time in its 30-year history that a DART train has suffered a derailment.

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