Train travel resumes after collision

1st October 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 October 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Train travel to and from the southern Dutch city of Roosendaal resumed early on Friday after 40 people were injured when an intercity train collided with a freight train near the city's central station on Thursday.

1 October 2004

AMSTERDAM — Train travel to and from the southern Dutch city of Roosendaal resumed early on Friday after 40 people were injured when an intercity train collided with a freight train near the city's central station on Thursday.

The accident occurred shortly before 6pm on Thursday and about 30 to 40 passengers were injured. Some suffered broken bones and head wounds, but most people were only slightly hurt. The driver of the freight train was also among the injured.

Twenty victims were treated in hospital and an estimated three people were forced to spend the night. The remaining 20 victims suffered minor injuries such as grazes and were treated at a fire brigade barracks, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

The station had been transformed into a scene of chaos after the accident and police sealed the area off, RTL Nieuws reported.

About 400 people were travelling on the Amsterdam-Vlissingen intercity when it collided front-on with a shunting Belgian freight train.

The intercity was just leaving the station and the freight train approached from the other side of the station on the same tracks. Both trains were travelling at 25 to 30kmh per hour and they were not derailed by the accident.

Train traffic to and from Roosendaal was shut down after the accident. Consequently no international trains operated between the Netherlands and Belgium until the lines were cleared on Friday morning.

Train travel between Roosendaal and Breda and between Roosendaal and Dordrecht had been resumed at 9.30pm on Thursday. The intercity was driven away from the scene of the accident at about 2am on Friday. Full service to and from the Roosendaal area started running again from 5am.

A locomotive towed the freight train away about 30 minutes later and repair works on the damaged track change took a couple hours more.

Staff of the Transport and Public Works Inspectorate was dispatched to the scene of the accident on Thursday night. The Transport Safety Council will also conduct an investigation, news agency ANP reported.

The accident is similar to a collision at Amsterdam Central Station on 21 May this year.

In that accident, 20 people were injured when an intercity and a shunting double-decker train collided. Two of the injured victims had to be cut free from the wreckage.

The Dutch Transport Safety Council said on 27 May after initial inquiries that the Amsterdam accident was likely caused by the double-decker train travelling through a red light. The Transport and Public Works Inspectorate confirmed that finding in July.

The safety council also said its ongoing inquiry would investigate 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. 

Transport Minister Karla Peijs has promised to invest EUR 40 million into upgrading and improving the ATB railway safety system.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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