Train 'rode through red light' before collision

27th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 May 2004, AMSTERDAM — The rail accident that injured 20 people at Amsterdam's Central Station was likely caused by a double-decker train travelling through a red light before a crash with an intercity passenger train, the Transport Safety Council said on Thursday.

27 May 2004

AMSTERDAM — The rail accident that injured 20 people at Amsterdam's Central Station was likely caused by a double-decker train travelling through a red light before a crash with an intercity passenger train, the Transport Safety Council said on Thursday.

The Council said it would complete its investigation later this year, but noted in a statement that the facts appeared to point to the double-decker failing to stop at a red stop light. Over two hundred train passed the through a red light in 2002.

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.

It has previously been reported that the double-decker train had come to a stand-still before the accident. Dutch media reports had also indicated that it was the intercity that had collided with the second train, not the other way round.

Meanwhile, the safety board said its investigation would also look at the automatic train warning system (ATB). The system is controversial because it is years old and currently does not stop a train if it is travelling below 40kmh when it runs a red light.

When the system was designed it was believed collisions at lower speeds would not be particularly serious.

But the safety board reiterated its earlier conclusion from investigating previous crashes that the ATB system is antiquated.

Many critics of the ATB have demanded it be replaced with the ultramodern European rail safety system ERTMS.

But Transport Minister Karla Peijs says the cost of the ERTMS system would be prohibitive. Instead, she promised this week to spend EUR 40 million on upgrading the present rail safety system, starting with the busiest routes.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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