Old Red Iron

“Old Red Iron” is an abandoned railway bridge in Waterford City. It was built in 1906 and was part of the route that once linked Cork and Kerry to Rosslare via Waterford.

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Old Red Iron, Waterford City, Ireland

The bridge, at 1,205ft,  which was once one of the longest in Ireland and is just down river from what is now the longest bridge, River Suir Bridge, which was opened in 2009.

River Suir Bridge from Old Red Iron
River Suir Bridge from Old Red Iron

Old Red Iron oozes character and is just down the road from Waterford’s Dog Pound. Climbing up onto the bridge, one can hear the barking and whining of the dogs and that in itself tugs hard at the heartstrings.

Old Red Iron looking towards Waterford City
Old Red Iron looking towards Waterford City

The bridge has nine spans and the central part could open for shipping.

Old Red Iron
Old Red Iron

The central part has now been removed and can be seen leaning against the river side a little way downstream.

The  railway line was originally used as a faster route for mail between the transatlantic port of Cobh and London via Rosslare however it closed in 1967 only to reopen again 1970 to service the mineral processing plant near Dungarvan. The Waterford to Dungarvan line was used until 1987 when it was closed to the public. It was abandoned in 1995 and by 2003, the central section and the track was removed.

Old Red Iron has a melancholy feel it it but somehow its rusty glow has great allure.

Old Red Iron ~ Abandoned
Old Red Iron ~ Abandoned




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

24 thoughts on “Old Red Iron”

    1. Hi Suz, this is a bit hairy scary for walking across as it’s high and the river is flowing strongly beneath the openings between where the sleepers were. One day I’ll gather enough courage to get to the middle.

      1. Once I was walking an old that crossed a river, but closed to traffic for years. I wanted to get further out to take a photograph. Every step, I could hear the “singing” of the steel in the girders, and it was sending shivers down my spine in fear. I wanted to stop, but then, I kept thinking, okay, how could one little human (at the time, I was 115 pounds) bring down this massive bridge?, so I kept going…but not very far. 🙂

  1. The “River Suir Bridge” reminds me of Bostons’ Zachem bridge that takes one to NH then on to VT. Your old rusty bridge has a uniqueness of its own. It’s interesting to watch the dismantling of a bridge. They did one down in RI, and had it on TV video..

      1. Oh, not only in Ireland. The railway bridge over river Barrow wasn’t that old, and could be used another decade. Great place for photography 🙂 I have a good couple of pictures taken on that bridge 🙂 Must be illegal 🙂

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