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Building blocks placed on rail line

Íarnród Éireann (IR) has played down the impact of vandalism on the Limerick to Ennis rail track, after a rail engine was slightly damaged on Monday.

IR spokesman Barry Kenny confirmed the 4.30pm Limerick to Ennis train struck a number of building blocks, which had been placed on the line.

One passenger, who contacted The Clare Champion, claimed rail users were fortunate to escape what would have been a serious accident if the train was travelling at the same speed of a suburban Limerick to Dublin vehicle when it struck the blocks.

He said the driver had to stop the train for about 15 to 20 minutes at a location across from the Moyross housing estate to examine the damage.

“I could feel the train wobbling. You could hear the stones cracking underneath the train. If any part of the train had toppled over, it would have fallen into a flooded area,” he said.

Criticising the vandalism, he appealed to anyone who spotted any suspicious activity to contact the gardaí.

Mr Kenny said the vandalism caused slight damage to one engine but there was no risk to the train or passengers on board.

“There would have been a small amount of vibration from a damaged engine and the train would have been stopped while the driver checked the train. The damage was very limited and was fixed at Ennis Station.

“The maximum speed on that section of the route is 50mph. Obviously vandalism of any type is of concern and IR reported this to the gardaí.

“It is impossible to cover the entire railway network with CCTV but IR will provide additional security or other measures if we have recurring issues and we will liaise with the gardaí also,” Mr Kenny said.

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