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Unread 09-09-2009, 15:50   #41
Mark Gleeson
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Originally Posted by tigger1962 View Post
the irish times has an article stating the same but my web access is a bit flaky at the moment! states there was 4m of water at time of collapse?
Can confirm it was close to high tide at the time, that said the depth of water on the weir itself was nothing close to that, beyond the weir it varies starting at 2m
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Unread 09-09-2009, 15:57   #42
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Originally Posted by tigger1962 View Post
the irish times has an article stating the same but my web access is a bit flaky at the moment! states there was 4m of water at time of collapse?
I'm not sure if this is correct. Perhaps its a mis-statement of there being a 4m tidal range that day.

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Mr Ellis said he was reassured about the future safety of the Dublin-Belfast line, but the possibility that heavy rain during the summer could have been a factor in the viaduct’s collapse was cause for concern elsewhere.
When you have thousands of cubic metres of water in the tidal flow every few hours, a "little" rain doesn't do a whole lot. Rain is not an issue for this viaduct, although it be have for others.
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Unread 09-09-2009, 19:56   #43
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http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0909/rail.html
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Rail bridge may be repaired by November
listen Wednesday, 9 September 2009 15:23

Members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport have inspected the scene of the railway bridge collapse in Malahide.

The Committee members were briefed by Iarnród Éireann officials, including company chairman John Lynch, about progress in the re-building of the bridge at Broadmeadow estuary.

Iarnród Éireann says they expect to complete the re-construction of the bridge, which collapsed last month, in November.
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A company spokesperson said that its inquiry into the incident will take six months to complete.

Transport Committee member and Fine Gael Spokesperson on Transport Fergus O'Dowd says he wants independent verification that the work being conducted on the bridge is to the highest possible standard.
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Unread 10-09-2009, 08:58   #44
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Independent, Thursday September 10 2009

http://www.independent.ie/national-n...s-1882404.html


Quote:
By Fergus Black

Thursday September 10 2009

WORK on the €4m reconstruction of the rail link which collapsed into the sea is on target and expected to be completed by the end of October.

Irish Rail hopes to have the line back in use by the end of November, which is good news for thousands of commuters forced on to buses following last month's collapse of the rail viaduct over the Broadmeadow Estuary in Malahide, north Co Dublin.

Work to restore the rail link involves a number of major parallel projects. Engineers have begun filling the breach in the causeway that is believed to have undermined one of the piers supporting the viaduct and leading to the collapse.

The damaged pier is being reconstructed and 10 other piers that support the viaduct are being strengthened while substantial repair works to the weir beneath the bridge are being carried out to protect the estuary environment.

But the investigation into the cause of the near disaster will take six months to complete and will also include the inspection of 84 bridges that cross open water.

The company also revealed yesterday that changes in safety inspections to rail lines would be considered as part of the major investigation into the collapse. While current inspections meet international standards, the type of inspections and how often they are carried out will be reconsidered.

Irish Rail also confirmed yesterday that the restored line at Malahide would be continuously monitored above and below the waterline while the investigation continued.

Clad in hard hats, high visibility clothing, lifejackets and wellington boots, members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport joined senior Irish Rail officials at the scene of the near calamity that could have sent rail carriages and hundreds of passengers plummeting into four metres of water.

As they looked at the yawning gap where the rail link collapsed, committee TDs Fergus O'Dowd and Darragh O'Brien and Senator John Ellis were briefed by rail officials, including company chairman John Lynch and chief civil engineer Eamonn Balance.

The visit came ahead of a hearing next week when officials from Irish Rail, the Rail Safety Commission and the Department of Transport will be quizzed on the incident and future safety measures.

Five days before the collapse, a group of Sea Scouts raised concerns about erosion to the piers holding up the rail line and the following day an engineer inspected the viaduct, finding no visible structural problems.

Two days later, a track monitoring vehicle travelled over the line and found the railway was operating as designed. It was on August 21 that an alert train driver raised the alarm and the line was shut down.

Defending rail inspection standards, Irish Rail chairman John Lynch described the collapse as a "unique situation" and said even had an engineer walked the bridge every day, he would not have found problems beneath the waterline.

Inspections

Under current regulations, bridge structural inspections take place every two years with below-the-waterline inspections once every six years while lines are "walked" three times a week.

- Fergus Black
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Unread 10-09-2009, 09:01   #45
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[quote=roamling;49312]Independent, Thursday September 10 2009

Quote:
Defending rail inspection standards, Irish Rail chairman John Lynch described the collapse as a "unique situation" and said even had an engineer walked the bridge every day, he would not have found problems beneath the waterline.
... that is why the bridge should have been inspected more detailed after the change of sea flow was reported.

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Unread 10-09-2009, 17:06   #46
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[quote=roamling;49313]
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Originally Posted by roamling View Post
Independent, Thursday September 10 2009



... that is why the bridge should have been inspected more detailed after the change of sea flow was reported.
Eh, the problem was underneath the bridge Mr. Lynch..
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Unread 13-09-2009, 17:57   #47
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they still seem to be refusing to acknowledge lack of action to check the weir, you guys should be nailing them down on that.
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Unread 16-09-2009, 07:07   #48
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http://www.independent.ie/breaking-n...e-1887332.html

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Wednesday September 16 2009

The chairman of CIE is due to be questioned about the collapse of the rail viaduct in the Malahide area of Dublin when he appears before the Oireachtas Transport Committee today.

Disaster was narrowly avoided when a 20-metre section of the bridge collapsed last month shortly after a passing train driver noticed subsidence around the rail line.

It later emerged that concerned locals had reported a possible problem with erosion to Iarnrod Eireann.

An inspection was carried out, but it failed to notice that one of the support piers was in danger of collapse.

Officials from the Rail Safety Committee, the Department of Transport and the Rail Accident Investigation Unit are also due to appear before today's meeting.
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Unread 16-09-2009, 12:24   #49
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and a first glimpse whats going on in the hearing... at least somebody is asking the right questions...

Irish Times, September 16, 2009, 13:06

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...breaking38.htm

Quote:
Irish Rail accused over bridge collapse

Senior Irish Rail executives were today accused of playing with thousands of people's lives by not closing a busy rail line when safety concerns were raised five days prior to its collapse.

Labour Party transport spokesman Tommy Broughan said countless lives could have been lost when a bridge on the cross-border Dublin-Belfast rail line crumbled into the sea near Malahide last month.

Mr Broughan told TDs and Senators that a member of the public had flagged up concerns about one of the piers supporting the bridge to Irish Rail less than a week before the collapse.

“We could have been attending funerals for weeks. This could have been one of the most horrendous events in the history of our country,” Mr Broughan said.

“Why didn’t you stop the trains on August 17th?” He added: “Why did you take a chance on August 17th?

But Iarnród Éireann chief executive Richard Fearn said the complaint was taken seriously and a structural engineer was sent to examine the scene.

“We did not take a chance, we reacted properly and professionally and when we got further information that there were no immediate risk but there were issues that needed to be looked at we sent a structural engineer to do an assessment,” Mr Fearn said.
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Unread 16-09-2009, 12:28   #50
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“We did not take a chance, we reacted properly and professionally and when we got further information that there were no immediate risk but there were issues that needed to be looked at we sent a structural engineer to do an assessment,” Mr Fearn said.
PS: on a personal note - I was on the last train northbound before the bridge collapsed and I have no symphathy for the all the excuses Irish Rail has for an answer to all this.
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Unread 16-09-2009, 13:50   #51
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Like it or not, the full safety requirements where discharged by Irish Rail. The bridge was inspected in line with rail industry standards, all the inspections where in date (which is something that would not have been the case in the past). Put simply same viaduct in identical conditions in any well maintained rail network would have met the same fate.

Where the problem lies is in the unique construction of the Malahide viaduct, there are no foundations under the bridge, its built on a pile of rubble effectively and the whole show works on nothing more basic than gravity.

The current presumed nature of the collapse is such that the rubble underneath the pier was pullled out by the water flow from the collapsed weir, until a point where gravity led the pier to fall over and the bridge collapses.

Structurally an inspection even at 6pm on that Friday would have been unlikely to find anything amiss, I've seen a high res photo of the bridge taken at 6:10pm and there isn't a hint of anything wrong, the bridge looked fine. Only an underwater inspection would have revealed the problem, even then it would have been too late, the bridge would collapse in time.

The failure was as a result of Irish Rail not understanding the relationship between the weir, the waterflow and the viaducts construction. Its classic accident territory not putting together all the pieces. Someone somewhere failed to identify the critical nature of the weir

Most of all, finger pointing gets no one to work or home

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Unread 16-09-2009, 14:19   #52
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Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post

Most of all, finger pointing gets no one to work or home
Hang on, someone paid handsomely to be RESPONSIBLE for safety and inspections needs to be help RESPONSIBLE.

Heads need to roll, the lack of accountability across every aspect of Irish Rail needs to be challenged and if a calamity of this scale fails to hold anyone in Irish Rail accountable, then what the hell do they have to wrong to be actually held RESPONSIBLE?
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Unread 16-09-2009, 14:38   #53
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Problem is the system won't let anyone hang since all the rules where complied with, the safety standards are as good as anywhere else in Europe, but still it went wrong. Had the inspections been out of date, you wouldn't have many senior staff left, if this had happened 10 years ago you would have been lucky to find a record of a bridge inspection and even luckier to find one which was in date.

Irish Rail goofed up since they failed to recognise the special characterisitcs of the Malahide viaduct, they seemed to understand the weir back in the 1960's but forgot about it up until now. Its classic accident stuff, not understanding the entire context
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Unread 16-09-2009, 16:40   #54
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I think we have a right to highlight failures in scrutiny and pre-emptive measures to make 100% sure that the structure was safe. I feel deeply worried about the fact that people were put to risk because of a lack of full understanding of the interaction of water flows, viaduct constructions etc. The idea of an underwater inspection of a bridge structure that has been reported as possibly critical does not even require a fundamental understanding of the full context of these issues, it requires just a bit a common sense to make sure all aspects of the inspection have been ticked (and a bridge does not stop at the water level). It would have been a different case if the bridge had just collapsed without warning, but in this case there was a chance to prevent it and that is the point I want to highlight. There needs to be accountability within Irish Rail for these failures.

Last edited by roamling : 16-09-2009 at 16:44.
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Unread 17-09-2009, 07:25   #55
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http://www.independent.ie/national-n...k-1888764.html

Independent September 17 2009

Quote:
Rail bosses deny putting lives at risk

By Fergus Black

Thursday September 17 2009

IRISH Rail chiefs have vowed to put a new safety inspection regime in place in the wake of the catastrophic collapse of a bridge on a busy rail line.

The company yesterday attempted to defend its safety procedures after being accused of "taking a chance" with the lives of hundreds of passengers.

It promised a new safety inspection regime in the wake of the collapse, which happened minutes before a train packed with 1,100 passengers was due to cross the Malahide viaduct outside Dublin.

Irish Rail chairman John Lynch admitted the company's reputation had been damaged by the accident and that the event had "shaken" officials.

But he denied they had taken a chance with safety procedures.

He revealed that once the major investigation into the collapse was completed, and now that they knew what they knew about the accident, he was certain that the regime of inspections -- which currently involve two-year structural examinations and underwater inspections every six years -- would change.

He was commenting as members of the Joint Committee on Transport angrily accused the company and the Rail Safety Commission of failing to do their jobs in the lead up to the Broadmeadow viaduct collapse on August 21.

Vigilance

The busy line is expected to be re-opened by late November.

The rail company was also criticised for failing to carry out an underwater inspection of the viaduct after a member of the public raised concerns days before the accident.

Labour's transport spokes- man Tommy Broughan said that, but for the grace of God and the vigilance of alert train driver Keith Farrelly, hundreds of people could have died.

- Fergus Black
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Unread 17-09-2009, 08:48   #56
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There is too much grandstanding and playing blame-game going on here.

The politicians should be told that until the Railway Safety Authority has reported, they should exercise more restraint in what they say. It's pathetic how they play to the gallery. Some of the individuals have made extremely vindictive comments about people in other contexts and I would not trust them an inch.

Why does there have to be such an atmosphere of witch-hunt about this? Loking for someone to hang, or fire or whatever? There may well be a reason to fire someone, but we will have to wait for the RSA report before we can pass such a judgement. There is even the possibility that this was a very freak one-off, which no-one could reasonaby foresee without the benefit of that marvellous gift: hindsight.

Look at the aviation industry, which is surely the leader in good safety oversight. The emphasis in accident and indcident enquiries in aviation is to learn lessons that prevent future accidents. Whether anyone gets sacked or disciplined might of course happen, but the main emphasis is on finding the truth and learning lessons for the future.
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Unread 17-09-2009, 16:32   #57
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The emphasis in accident and indcident enquiries in aviation is to learn lessons that prevent future accidents. Whether anyone gets sacked or disciplined might of course happen, but the main emphasis is on finding the truth and learning lessons for the future.
Correct. Only when the investigation follows a "no blame culture" will anyone get to the root cause of any incident, thereby enabling new checks and balances to be put in place to prevent a repitition. When the nature of an enquiry is to find a scapegoat; mouths quickly close, memories become patchy and the guy who doesn't have teflon shoulders takes the bullet.
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Unread 17-09-2009, 20:19   #58
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The Transport Committee transcripts are here: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate...Node=H3&Page=1 (Moderators please move if this fits better into another thread.)
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Unread 18-09-2009, 07:23   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof_Vanderjuice View Post
The Transport Committee transcripts are here: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate...Node=H3&Page=1 (Moderators please move if this fits better into another thread.)
Thanks for the link! Valuable information to read.
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Unread 18-09-2009, 09:15   #60
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As a previous poster has pointed out, there is far too much point scoring going on by some of our public representitives

The line of questioning at the joint committee was useless, no new information what so ever surfaced and indeed many of the questions where based on flawed information

The RAIU guy played it by the book, investigation ongoing, we will publish a report, we will do so as quickly as possible

Who do Irish Rail send out but Kenny, Lynch and Fearn, no sign of the chief engineer or safety officer.

There is no question that something went wrong and in hindsight it should never have happened.
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