28/08/2009

Collapsed Railway To Get Back On Track

Reconstruction of the Malahide viaduct has started.

Iarnród Éireann has begun work to facilitate repairs on the causeway that partially collapsed last Friday evening just moments after a train had passed across it.

The rail company said it had today commenced bringing rock on site to rebuild the eroded weir, which is believed to have been "a significant factor in the collapse".

The rebuilding will fill the breach which is believed to have undermined the collapsed pier and will "normalise" water flows and protect other adjacent piers.

It said the work would also protect the estuary environment, ensuring that normal water levels and flows are maintained and sustaining the estuary eco-system.

This work will then permit the reconstruction proper to proceed.

This will include piling for platforms for the crane required for the reconstruction work; works on adjacent piers to strengthen these and provide a 'seat' for new beams and installation of the beams across the two spans, to be supported by the strengthened piers.

Iarnród Éireann said the estimated timescale for the reconstruction was unchanged at three months.

The team dealing with the assessment and reconstruction of the viaduct is being assisted and advised by independent experts Eamon McKeogh, Professor of Hydraulics at UCC, and Dr Eric Farrell of the Geotechnical Department at TCD.

The company also said that a committee has been established to oversee an investigation into the collapse of the 20-metre section of the viaduct.

It will be chaired by board member Phil Gaffney, a former managing director of MTR, which operates the Hong Kong Metro.

See: Iarnród Éireann 'Aware Of Bridge Erosion'

(BMcC/GK)

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