Irish Rail wants to use infra red to end disruptive bridge hits in Laois and other counties

Irish Rail bridge hit

Emergency Services at the scene of a bridge strike - PICTURE: Press 22

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.

Iarnród Éireann/Irish Rail’s Chief Civil Engineer’s Department is responsible for a railway network with circa 1,200 bridges with a public road and rail interface in Laois and right around the country.

The company says that every year there are multiple incidents of public road vehicles striking these bridges. While some technology has been introduced to try to prevent strikes, the problem still exists.

The current method for reporting bridge strikes is by phone. An information sign complete with Iarnród Éireann (IE) contact details is fixed to each bridge and the reporting of the strike incident is the responsibility of the driver of the vehicle in question or a witness to the incident.

In an attempt to come up with a better way to respond Iarnród Éireann has sought applications to develop an innovative, prevention & pre-emptive bridge strike system in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland.

In a tender invitation Iarnród Éireann says it wants proposals that address the following:

• Advance warning Infra-red vehicle height detection/scanning systems complete with warning & information VMS.

• Remote monitoring, communication and alert methods/systems

• Advance warning structures and/or signage.

• Traffic calming/warning solutions.

• Other; as proposed.

The company said all systems proposed should take account that Iarnrod Eireann’s rail network and bridge locations are nationwide and in many circumstances located in remote locations therefore systems and technologies proposed should consider effective solutions for power requirements, operation, communication and equipment maintenance regime.

The company hopes to  award a contracts in November 2017.

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