Inquiry as stone thrown at train

Gardaí and Iarnród Éireann have launched investigations after a train driver was taken to hospital when a large rock was thrown through his cabin window.

The incident happened on Friday near Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, on a non-service train when a rock was thrown by a teenager from a bridge above the railway line. The incident came just 10 days after another near- miss in the same area, when three children placed a piece of steel on the rail.

The driver in Friday’s incident was brought to Waterford Regional Hospital but did not suffer serious injuries and was subsequently discharged. Gardaí were able to take a statement from him at the scene before he was brought to hospital.

An Iarnród Éireann spokeswoman said it was an extremely frightening experience for the driver. “He was very shaken, obviously, by the whole thing. It’s very dangerous and we’d appeal to people to refrain from this sort of action.”

The large stone, believed to be sandstone or granite, was thrown at about 3pm from Corrigan’s Bridge, near the station in Bagenalstown, while there were no passengers on the train. It went straight through the driver’s windscreen, shattering it in the process.

Íarnród Éireann has an education programme for schools to try and prevent stone-throwing and other vandalism to its trains or property.

“It’s a very sinister development,” Insp Martin Walker of Carlow Garda Station said yesterday. “God forbid, someone could get knocked unconscious.”

Another incident on Oct 9 saw three “young people” leaving a piece of steel on the line at Bagenalstown before a rail service passed through. “The train wasn’t damaged but there was some slight damage done to the track,” said Insp Walker. “We were fortunate it didn’t derail the train.”

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