Jump to content

Horses on the Line

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts



This quote from IR spokesman:

.... said none of the incidents resulted in any injury to staff or passengers. While “in most instances, without being glib, the animals do tend to come off worse”

reminds me of when George Stephenson was asked what would happen if one of his locomotives encountered a cow on the track:

"It would be awkward for the coo."


  • Funny 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I found most 'interesting' is the requirement for IE to secure its existing (for over a century) right of way and its liability when an animal (which should be secured by its owner) wanders onto its tracks. It would be hard to find another party at fault under these laws.

So in addition to any repairs, it has to reimburse the owner of the animals.

However, do passengers on IE  have any right to compensation for delays and consequential losses even in theory?


Is a motorist similarly liable or is that the roads authority? I can understand how when a new road/motorway is built there would be an obligation to secure it from animals if it cuts through existing farmland etc.

As for motorists infringing on the IE shared right of way at LCs with more than sufficient warning with lights, barriers, signage, fireworks etc.  

The mind boggles ......

Edited by DiveController
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Deer may be an escalating issue - they are often rather more agile and determined than the average domesticated animal and the numbers around can be rather greater than people might notice.

It is said that there are actually more deer about now than at any time since the end of the last Ice Age.


The scale of the lineside fencing in Ireland seems generally a lot more 'discrete' than on the Big Island.

I live near a 'wild patch' and we have quite a few deer-related road traffic incidents, about three or four a week - I've witnessed a couple and the damage to the vehicles was very dramatic, although no occupants were significantly injured in either.

When I first moved here, in the mid-70s, I lived in digs and the phone number was almost the same as the one that you would ring for the Warden who dealt with the aftermaths, just the last two numbers reversed. We would get a false 'alert' every few weeks, usually after the pubs had shut. I remember being woken once, in the early hours, by my landlord answering the phone to a rather inebriated driver who had got a deer stuck through his windscreen - "Well, if it's still alive, give it the kiss of life and take it to the A&E"

I often wonder what happened...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

True. I realize there's not a lot you can do with wild animals which I suppose obliges IE to protect itself in that regard in any case. Fencing heights relative to the surrounding terrain would have to be significant to keep deer off the line. Deer in your radiator or a big Red in your windscreen isn't a lot of fun, saw that in Scotland a few times. 

Deer tend to be semi-nocturnal which might account for a an in creased number of strikes in the winter months when services operate for longer without daylight. Cattle of course aren't quite as wary or agile as deer unlike the West of Ireland sheep.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There have been a number of significant de-railments in the UK and Ireland  where passenger trains ran into cattle and other livestock on the track.

While CIE GM locos and Push-pull driving trailers were  fitted with pilots or cow catchers from their introduction, the absence of a pilot or "object deflector" on a push pull driving trainer contributed to the fatal 1984 Polmont accident in the UK https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_(locomotive)

During the late 80s/early 90s a passenger train on the Mayo Line make up of MK2AC stock ran into a herd of cattle near Donamon, the herd was apparently being driven along the line between accommodation crossings by the farmer.

Although the train was not de-railed the collision resulted in significant damage to the coaches which were out of service for approximately 12 months awaiting budget approval to complete the repairs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use