Iarnród Éireann is trialling new laser technology in the hope of preventing trucks colliding with bridges.
An Over-Height Vehicle Detection (OHVD) system has been installed at Amiens Street in Dublin’s north inner city, where the railway bridge has been hit 11 times in five years.
A series of lasers on poles near the bridge detect the height of an oncoming truck. If the beam is broken, i.e. the truck is too high, a sign will automatically light up to give the truck driver time to divert.
The one for Amiens St will divert the vehicle travelling north on Beresford Place back onto the Quays.
Amiens St bridge, which has a clearance of 4.69m, required structural repairs following a serious collision in 2017.
Iarnród Éireann says there were 69 bridge strike incidents on the rail network in 2019. There have been 52 so far this year.
The rail operator hopes to secure funding to use this technology at other locations throughout Ireland, should the OHVD trial at Amiens St bridge succeed.
Plans are also in place to install LED advertising on the bridge itself, which will light up to warn the truck driver.
Iarnród Éireann CEO Jim Meade said: “It is worth restating legal obligations of HGV drivers when it comes approaching a bridge under a railway. You simply must heed any road signs and advance warning signs that are in place. Your vehicle, including any load being carried, must be lower than the height shown on the warning sign.”