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Double Take: The creepy Waterford structure that was once Ireland's longest bridge

The Old Red Iron Bridge was a central part of Ireland’s transport network in the early 1900s.

OFF THE BEATEN track, a derelict bridge measuring 367 metres, stands over the River Suir.

A phantom track connecting the north and south sides of Waterford City, this bridge is actually an example of vital developments in civil engineering at the start of the twentieth century.

Its rust-covered tracks continue to erode each year and the whole thing is scattered with pockets of grass. Despite its spooky aesthetic, the bridge has become an unusual attraction in Munster.

Why? Erected in 1906 by Scottish engineer William Arrol, the Old Red Iron Bridge formerly held the record of Ireland’s longest bridge. The title that now belongs to the River Suir Bridge, also in Waterford, according to Atlas Obscura.

These days, the formerly active structure is known by locals as the Old Red Iron Bridge.

While it was active as a railway, the bridge was considered to be “the fastest mail route between Cobh’s transatlantic port and London,” as per the Atlas Obscura description. It also provided international trade access to Ireland as well as facilitating popular routes for rural parts of the country.

Although the Old Red Iron Bridge has stood disused since the early 2000s and is guarded from the public, it continues to garner visitors from around the country and further afield. Just don’t expect to drive over it any time soon. 

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