About Us

Who are the RAIU?

The Railway Accident Investigation Unit (RAIU) is the independent accident investigation unit in Ireland. It is responsible for the investigation of accidents or incidents on:

  • The national railway
  • The DART
  • The LUAS
  • Heritage railways

The purpose of the RAIU is to improve railway safety by establishing the cause or causes of an accident or incident with a view to making recommendations for the avoidance of accidents in the future and the improvement of railway safety. It is not the purpose of the RAIU to attribute blame or liability.

What is the organisational structure of the RAIU?

The RAIU is the railway accident investigation unit within the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS).

Although forming part of DTTAS, the Chief Investigator is independent in, and solely responsible for, the conduct of investigation and publication of reports on matters concerning railway incident and accidents. 

What accidents do the RAIU investigate?

The RAIU will investigate all serious accidents. A serious accident means any train collision or derailment of trains resulting in:

  • The death of one person
  • Serious injuries to five or more people
  • Extensive damage to rolling stock, the infrastructure or the environment

The RAIU may investigate and report on accidents and incidents which under slightly different conditions might have led to serious accidents.

Who notifies the RAIU of an accident?

It is the responsibility of the railway industry bodies (Irish Rail, DART, LUAS) to inform the RAIU of accidents.

How does the RAIU respond to an accident/ incident notification?

If an accident/ incident occurs the RAIU decide whether to investigate based on the following:

  • Is the investigation mandated by law?
  • Is there important evidence at the scene?
  • Are there safety lessons that can be learned?

If the RAIU decide to investigate, the response involves the dispatch of investigators to site, investigation or the accident/ incident site and collection of evidence.

If the RAIU decides not to investigate an accident, the accident will be investigated by the railway industry body involved.

What accidents/ incidents do the RAIU not investigation?

The RAIU does not investigate:

  • Railway worker accidents or incidents not involving train movements;
  • Accidents or incidents involving trespassers or suicides;
  • Accidents or incidents where there are no likely safety lessons to be learned.

Who carries out RAIU investigations?

The RAIU have a team of trained investigators who have been recruited from the railway industry and other investigation bodies. The RAIU can appoint specialists from the railway industry or other industries to assist with the investigations.