Report - Barrow Bridge and Tunnel - Waterford, Ireland - July 2014

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Aug 4, 2014
Hi guys new user here, and also new to Urban Exploring. This is my first time attempting it so hope you enjoy.

Background & History

This site is located on the Waterford - Rosslare railway line in Ireland. The line which used to operate 1 train a day carried approximately 25 people, however operations ceased in September 2010 and it hasnt been used since with no future plans to re-open it.

The bridge & tunnel are located where the river Barrow merges with the River Suir, on the border of 3 counties, Waterford, Wexford, and Kilkenny.
The bridge, built in 1906 is 2132 feet long and has thirteen fixed spans and one opening span which swings to let passing ships under on their way to New Ross harbour.
The tunnel lies at the west end of the bridge near the opening span and is approximately 600 feet long, presumably constructed at the same time.

Acessing the tunnel from the Waterford side is a bit tricky seeing as its located so far from any roads, but if you're willing to traverse a marsh for 20 minutes you can acess it no problem.

The journey

I dont have many friends, and the ones I asked werent really interested in coming with me, so I said screw it and went by myself as I'd been planning this for quite some time now.

There was 2 possible routes I could have taken according to google maps/streetview. The first was through a small dead end road in nearby Belview port. It looked like the easiest option but upon attempting to drive down I discovered that the layout had change significantly, and now featured large metal gates and a security checkpoint. So I doubled back and proceeded down a local backroad. The road was quite narrow and has a lot of houses on it, so it might arouse suspicion if anybody see's you going down there. It eventually leads to a dead end and thats where I parked my car up and hopped a farm gate to trek the 2km approx walk down to the railway line.

The walk itself was through a dense marshland, and it was very wet and muddy plus I had to jump a couple of small creeks. We just had 2 weeks of constant sunshine so I imagine if you attempted to traverse this route in the winter or during a rainy season, you will have a lot more trouble.

1. The marsh. Railway line is located alongside the river in the distance.

There's a fence which is about 6ft high at the bottom which has to be climbed but it was no problem. From here you have to walk east on the railway line, away from the port. Be careful that nobody spots you but I doubt anybody would care if they did.

The walk from here takes about 15 minutes and takes you through a narrow gap with plenty of greenery on each side.

2. Looking west towards the port

3. East

The tunnel itself was pretty intimidating for a first timer like me. I'll admit, it got me pretty excited. I got out my flashlight and slowy proceeded in. Surprisingly, it was quite wide and tall. It wasnt filled with rats or bats like I imagined, infact it was pretty clean and dead silent inside aside from the occasional drip of water from the ceiling.
If the line was open, and a train did come there would be plenty of room inside to avoid it.

The tunnel is slightly curved to the right, but you can see the each end from the centre. Despite this, it is pitch black.

4. Approaching the tunnel

5. Inside the tunnel looking East

6. Looking West

7. To give you an idea of how dark it is, a photo withou any flash/torch

8. Milepost inside tunnel

9. Interesting Ceiling.

10. Emerging from the opposite end, the Barrow Bridge becomes visible

11. Looking back at the tunnel from the bridge side

The first thing you see as you approach the bridge is a sign telling you that due to the nature of the bridge and how dangerous it is, the public liablity act does not apply yadda yadda.
The bridge is also quite wide with tall railings on each side. Its approximately 50ft up from the river below. But there is metal grating in between the railway line and on each side, so there is little or no risk of falling through, but if you're afraid of heights this might be a bit daunting.

Be warned: The third span is the one that opens. Check or something just to be sure its not planning to actually open during your visit, or you may be in for a nasty surprise.

12. Warning

13. The hut is located on the third span and is where the bridge is controlled.

14. Where span 3 opens from




18. these jetties jut out from each side of span 3.

19. Spotted this under the hut. A nice memorial.

I admired the view for a bit, and was just about to climb the ladder up to the hut when I heard somebody way I thought, I'm just imagining things. So I sat and listened silenty for a few minutes.
Another loud cough.....and again. There was somebody in the hut! They musnt have spotted me or heard me approach. I quickly abandoned the idea to climb up for a better view. Last thing I wanted was to run into some security or something here. So I casually but quietly cut the trip short there, and walked back to the tunnel hoping that I would go unnoticed.

Luckily I did, and made my way through the tunnel once again and back to my car. I was still very pleased with what I had seen regardless.
But it left the question of: Why was there somebody in the hut at 8pm in the evening? I had double checked the marine maps before I left and when I got home, and there was no ships passing through at any time that evening.

I did some digging, and discovered that the bridge is manned 24/7 by a port authority person incase a ship needs to pass. This really surprised me, seeing as less than 7 ships pass through every week.
source: New Ross Boat Yard - Dry Dock & Boat Storage services

If you've managed to make it this far then thanks, I know my writing style is pretty terrible. I'm planning more trips soon!
Likes: Nick0

The Wombat

Mr Wombat
28DL Full Member
Oct 14, 2012
Excellent first report, and well done for getting out there :thumb
you'll be hooked on doing tunnels now.
cunning corgi has done a few out your way


Bajo Tierra
Regular User
Mar 9, 2013
Nice tunnel this, this is where my family are originally from so its nice to see something local from Waterford, as Wombat has said Cunningcorgi has done the odd tunnel down that way. If you can shoot long exposures on your camera i would think about using it and light the tunnel up with torches rather than using the flash on your camera, you will get much better results :)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Oct 19, 2013
Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Nice report & love the Bridge :thumb

Ditto the light painting with a good torch/es never the easiest things to light up especially when lined with soot :)

Will obviously mention the solo exploring risks ........safer with a mate /s ........says me lol