Iarnród Éireann to seek innovative solution to prevent bridge strikes
Iarnród Éireann Chief Executive, David Franks was joined by Enterprise Ireland’s Executive Director of Global Business Development, Kevin Sherry at Amiens St. bridge recently to mark the invitation for tenders for bridge warning, prevention and pre emptive systems/technologies for Iarnród Éireann.
This tender process was designed jointly by Iarnród Éireann and Enterprise Ireland through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Ireland to attract interest from small and medium size indigenous businesses that have the knowledge and innovation to design and implement technologies to reduce the instances of trucks hitting railway bridges.
In 2016 there were 92 incidents of vehicles hitting bridges, an increase on 2015 and in 2017 to date there have been 65 bridge strikes, with the DART area experiencing the highest increase. Bridge Strikes are a major threat to the safety of road and rail users and they also can cause major disruption to customers, as when a bridge strike is reported all rail traffic must stop until an Engineer inspects the bridge to ensure that no structural damage has occurred.
Speaking at the launch Iarnród Éireann Chief Executive, David Franks said: “Bridge strikes are one of the railway’s biggest safety risks, despite awareness campaigns and communication with road haulier stakeholders, we can see a worrying upward trend and we hope that this initiative will produce innovative technical solutions that will go a long way to reducing bridge strikes”.
Also speaking at the launch, Executive Director of Global Business Development, for Enterprise Ireland, Kevin Sherry said: “The SBIR initiative is all about providing public bodies with an effective means of finding new and innovative ideas that meet a specific need they have and which can be developed and implemented quickly. It also provides SMEs with unique customer solutions access to public sector procurement opportunities. Enterprise Ireland is delighted to collaborate with Irish Rail on this challenge and congratulates it on embracing the initiative”.