Inquiry confirms train ran red light
5 July 2004 , AMSTERDAM − The train crash in which 20 people were injured at Amsterdam Centraal Station in May was caused after the driver of a double-decker train ran through a red light, the Transport and Public Works Inspectorate (IVW) said on Monday.
5 July 2004
AMSTERDAM − The train crash in which 20 people were injured at Amsterdam Centraal Station in May was caused after the driver of a double-decker train ran through a red light, the Transport and Public Works Inspectorate (IVW) said on Monday.
In its report into the accident, the IVW said the main cause of the accident was the train running the red light, but said there were various reasons why this occurred, news agency ANP reported.
The rail network leader wrongfully gave the driver permission to depart, despite the fact the next signal was red to give way to an approaching intercity. The investigation also indicated that signals were located in a manner that was confusing for train drivers.
Twenty people were injured as an intercity train and a shunting double-decker collided head on at about 6.30pm at Amsterdam Central Station on 21 May. Two of the injured victims had to be cut free from the wreckage.
The IVW report confirmed earlier indications that the automatic ATB rail warning system − which operates at Amsterdam Central Station − could not prevent the train from running the red light.
The ATB system is only triggered into action when trains are travelling quicker than 40kmh. It was previously assumed that train accidents at speeds under 40kmh were not dangerous.
Soon after the accident, Dutch MPs demanded the ATB system be replaced with the ultramodern European rail safety system ERTMS.
But Transport Minister Karla Peijs rejected the demand and said instead she would invest EUR 40 million into upgrading and improving the present railway safety system.
Meanwhile, the IVW will add the report's results to a workgroup study that is investigating the increasing number of trains that run though red lights. The group was established in March on request from the Transport Ministry.
The 2003 annual IVW report had indicated that the number of trains that run through red lights increased over a 10 year period from 150 to 280 per year.
The IVW is now studying more closely whether train drivers are sufficiently aware of local situations. According to the IVW report, the driver of the double-decker train never saw the second signal, which was red.
The Council for Transport Safety had reported in May that the shunting double-decker train had run through the red light. It will finalise its report later this year.
Some critics have called for a return to a system where a train may only depart when all signals are green, not just the first one.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news