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