Train derailments and explosions


The Living Force
Two train derailments being reported in northern Italy and in Canada.

High-speed train derails in northern Italy, two drivers die February 6, 2020
A broken window is seen after a high speed train travelling from Milan to Bologna derailed killing at least two people near Lodi, Italy February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
A high-speed train derailed in northern Italy in the early hours of Thursday, killing its two drivers, injuring scores of people and disrupting traffic on the busy line between Milan and Bologna, officials said.

The train skipped the tracks while traveling at an estimated 280 kph (175 mph), with the front engine jumping onto an adjacent track and smashing into idle freight wagons before coming to a stop several hundred meters (yards) distant.

The front passenger wagon decoupled from the engine and was left lying on its side, while the rest of the train managed to stay upright.

Only 33 people were aboard the train, which left Italy’s financial capital Milan at 5.10 a.m. (0410 GMT), the first high-speed service of the day. It was heading to the southern city of Salerno when it flew off the rails after just 20 minutes, near the small town of Livraga.

The emergency services said 27 people were hurt, but none had life-threatening injuries.

Officials said maintenance had been carried out on the line overnight and investigators were looking to see if this work might have caused the disaster.

Canadian Pacific train derails near Guernsey, Saskatchewan February 6, 2020
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd's freight train derailed near Guernsey, Saskatchewan early on Thursday, the railroad said, making it the second such accident in the same area in a span of two months.

Media reports said the train was possibly hauling oil, as the derailment, which took place more than 100 kilometers southeast of Saskatoon, had caused a massive fire.

In December, a CP train hauling oil had derailed west of Guernsey, Saskatchewan.


The Living Force
Two killed as Australian train derails
The scene of an XPT train derailment is pictured near Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, February 21, 2020.  AAP Image/David Crosling via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. AUSTRALIA OUT. NEW ZEALAND OUT.

February 20, 2020 - Two people were killed and 12 others were injured when an Australian interstate train derailed outside Melbourne on Thursday evening, police said.

The train, which was traveling from Sydney, came off the rails near the town of Wallan, about 50 km (30 miles) from Melbourne.

Police said on Friday an unnamed male driver and an unidentified man died in the derailment.

Local media carried photos showing several carriages of the train askew off the tracks, with the locomotive on its side. “It is believed the train traveling from Sydney to Melbourne derailed near the Hume Freeway just before 8pm,” police in the state of Victoria said in an emailed statement.

Ambulance Victoria confirmed one of the injured had been flown to a Melbourne hospital and another four people had been taken to a second hospital, where they were in a stable condition. “A number of others will be taken to hospital with minor injuries,” Ambulance Victoria said.

Transport authorities in New South Wales said there were approximately 160 passengers on board the train.


The Living Force
A high-speed TGV train running between Strasbourg in eastern France and Paris derailed on Thursday, injuring 20 people including one seriously, local officials said.

Twenty hurt after high-speed train derails in eastern France
March 5, 2020 - Police and emergency services rushed to the scene of the accident, which happened at 0745 (0845 (GMT) near Ingenheim in the Bas-Rhin area, the local prefecture said in a statement.

The initial assessment is that there is one wounded person who is an extremely urgent case, and 20 people who are being treated as relatively urgent cases,” the statement said. There were 348 passengers on board.

The state rail company SNCF said on Twitter that the train driver was “seriously injured” and evacuated by helicopter, adding that a major land slip caused the accident.

Other trains were being re-routed and there was no interruption to services, a spokesman for SNCF said.

Published on Mar 5, 2020 (0:59 min.)


The Living Force
A passenger train crashed into a freight train near the Czech capital, killing one driver and injuring dozens of passengers, officials said on Wednesday.


Rescuers work at the scene of a passenger and freight trains collision in Cesky Brod, Czech Republic on Tuesday. AP

July 15, 2020 - The Czech Rail Safety Inspectorate said the driver of the passenger train's engine died in the crash near the station of Cesky Brod just east of Prague shortly after 9:30pm (1930 GMT) on Tuesday.

The inspectorate said the passenger train smashed into the standing freight train.

The regional rescue service said up to 35 passengers were injured. Some were transported to hospitals for treatment by helicopters.
There were about 100 people onboard.

The major track linking the capital with the eastern part of the country is expected to be closed until Wednesday noon, the Czech Railways said. Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
July 29, 2020, 1:43 p.m. ET
A freight train derailed and caught fire as it was crossing a heavy rail bridge in Tempe, Ariz., on Wednesday morning, causing the bridge to partially collapse and sending plumes of black smoke billowing over the Tempe Town Lake, the authorities said.

The derailment happened just after 6 a.m., Detective Natalie Barela of the Tempe Police Department said. No one was injured, she said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire or the derailment. The incident is under investigation, said Assistant Chief Andrea Glass of the Tempe Fire Department.

Eight to 10 rail cars caught fire, said Tim McMahan, a spokesman for Union Pacific, the owner of the train. Brandon Siebert, a fire investigator and a spokesman for the Tempe Fire Department, told ABC 15 that the train included “lumber cars” and “tanker cars.”

About 100 firefighters from Tempe, Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz., responded, and several ladder units sprayed water on the bridge, Chief Glass said.
“It is a very active scene. We are still trying to contain the fire at this time,” she said. “We have a large amount of smoke that is over the center part of the lake.”

Video from local TV stations showed the fire burning along much of the bridge earlier in the morning.

A section of the bridge collapsed onto a roadway, Chief Glass said. Two of the cars that fell to the ground contained cyclohexanone, a highly flammable chemical solvent, and one contained a rubber material, Mr. McMahan said, adding that none of the cars were reported to be leaking.

Chief Glass said that no train cars fell into the lake, which is about two miles long and is a popular recreation area for kayaking, paddle boarding and rowing. The nearby Tempe Center for the Arts was evacuated, Ms. Barela said.

Streets around the Tempe Town Lake and west of downtown were restricted, and the police asked that people avoid the area. The Valley Metro transit service was routing buses around the scene of the derailment.


The Living Force
Source: Whale tail sculpture stops Rotterdam metro train from crashing into water -

Whale tail sculpture stops Rotterdam metro train from crashing into water

November 2, 2020


The metro train, suspended in the air - Photo: 010Fotograaf

A metro train serving the town of Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, has crashed through the barrier at the end of the track and only the sculpture of a whale has stopped it plummeting into the water below.

The train is now suspended 10 meters above a footpath, thanks to the whale’s tail, and is likely to remain there for some time. ‘We are trying to decide how we can bring the train down in a careful and controlled manner,’ a local safety board spokesman told broadcaster NOS.

The accident happened at the De Akkers metro station, which is the terminus for two metro routes, C (from Capelle aan den IJssel) and D (from Rotterdam). The driver was able to leave the train himself and was taken to hospital for a check-up. Police say no-one else was on the train at the time.

The driver was later arrested and interviewed by police, but a spokesman for transport operator RET said this was standard procedure for incidents involving trains.

‘It’s not because we think he caused the accident,’ said the spokesman. ‘It’s part of the investigation.’

The crash happened just before midnight and woke people living in the nearby houses. ‘It was a noise that lasted two or three seconds,’ one said. ‘I realized that there was something on the tail… I thought “something very odd is happening here”.’

Local metro services between Hoogvliet and Spijkenisse have been cancelled. The sculpture Saved By a Whale’s Tail, is made of polyester and is the work of Maarten Struijs. The tails were placed in the water at the end of the metro tracks in 2002.

‘If the metro had driven into the other tail, I think it would have crashed through,’ Struijs told [in Dutch]. ‘Obviously it looks very poetic, but it’s a bonus that the train is being supported by the tail.’

Subway crashes through stop block; Hangs precariously off artwork 10-meters up
Artist surprised his statue was strong enough to catch a subway car

Walvisstaarten statues Spijkenisse - Google leit


FOTCM Member
On February 7th, 2019, had posted about a CP Rail train derailment with fatalities.

Reading recently, two additional items came up in the news concerning that event. Canadian Pacific Railway is Canadian in name only, it is American, with major stock holders some of the usual; State Street, Vanguard and Fidelity, to name a few. What came up were potential lawsuits:

"That CP Rail could brazenly threaten a regulator to prevent a criminal probe into three deaths at CP Rail is stunning," said Runyowa. "It shows that CP Rail believes it is untouchable."

1. June 21st, 2021: "The lead safety investigator for a deadly derailment in the mountains of eastern B.C. was pulled off the case after Canadian Pacific Railway threatened to sue him and his bosses for suggesting the RCMP should look into potential criminal negligence by the railway, CBC News has learned."

There is back and forth between CP and the TSB (and the CBC), yet further along the article states:

The TSB says its role prohibits it from calling in police. To do so, it says, could be prejudicial or be seen as implying criminal wrongdoing, which is outside its mandate.
That is odd thing to say, as the TSB and police often work side by side (from past cases such as Swiss Air) and, it is incumbent upon them to pass along information to the RCMP if criminal evidence is uncovered. The problem here, though, is that then it becomes an RCMP matter and the TSB is eliminated, and they don't like to be eliminated, just as the RCMP probably don't want the case. This can be seen a few times in history. Obviously, the corporation would frown heavily on a criminal investigation.

2. June 22nd, 2021: This is about CP Rails own police (railways, at least in Canada (CN/CP) have their own police and legal framework around them - Acts), wherein petitions (2), are following the above fatalities, and are targeting CP police elimination, that has now gone to government who must respond.

Two petitions aimed at holding rail companies accountable for the safety of their employees, the public and environment were presented in the House of Commons on Monday by NDP MP Niki Ashton, who cited CBC's recent coverage of issues within Canadian Pacific and the Transportation Safety Board.

The push for government action is motivated by "the pursuit of justice" for Dylan Paradis, Andrew Dockrell and Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer, three Calgary-based rail workers who were killed when their train derailed near Field, B.C., in 2019, said Ashton in sponsoring the petitions.

One can see where this is going, the possibility that a corporation influences their very own police (which overrides the RCMP on rail lines):

'Grotesque level of complacency'​

The whistleblowers' calls for outside police to step in prompted two petitions by the families of the dead crew.

One calls for formal whistleblower protections for TSB investigators who come forward with concerns of potential criminal wrongdoing.

The other petition calls for a national inquiry into the police services owned by CP and CN Railways, which the families' lawyer Tavengwa Runyowa calls "corporate capture of government."


The Living Force
UPDATE on post #264 (above): Metro that crash-landed on whale statue was going too fast; Caused €1m in damage


Image: Rodney Youandi Kastelan
- Source: Rodney Youandi Kastelan, @Rodjoch at Twitter

Monday, July 12, 2021 - 13:10

Metro that crash-landed on whale statue was going too fast; Caused €1m in damage

The metro that drove through a stop block and landed on a whale tale statue at the De Akkers metro station in Spijkenisse on November 2, 2020, was traveling too fast, a recent investigation from the Rotterdam public transport network, RET stated. The empty metro shot through the bumper and miraculously hung from a whale tail artwork. The accident caused one million euros in damage. The driver remained unharmed.

The track was slippery that night. On top of that, the ramp subway did not have rail brakes which would have better suited the conditions at the time. The security system was also inadequate the investigation showed. The track on which the accident occurred lacked an additional emergency buffer to stop the metro.

The bumper with which the subway collided was unable to withstand a speed greater than 15 km/h. The metro crashed through the stop block at 45 km/h. A speed limit of 35 km/h is allowed on the sidetrack.

The driver did not respond for the first five seconds. “Why that is unknown”, researchers stated. The investigators said that had he reacted five seconds earlier, the outcome would still have been the same.

The driver was suspended for the time being as is customary when such an incident happens. “The accident was serious for him”, general manager of the RET, Maurice Unck said. Unck emphasized the driver has not been accused of any malpractice. He cooperated fully with the investigation. Unck stated the training for drivers will be tightened.

To prevent such an accident from repeating itself, the RET temporarily reduced the speed limit on the parking lanes from 35 km/h to 20 km/h. The track at De Akkers is still out of service.

Coverage in Dutch:
Metro-ongeluk Spijkenisse door te hoge snelheid, glad spoor en te laat remmen


The Living Force
This report isn't about a crash but about a complete stand still of all trains throughout the country due to an as yet undisclosed malfunction in the communications system between traffic control and individual drivers. It's already the second time this year that this system malfunctions; the previous one happened on May 31, 2021.

Source: Dutch rail traffic shut down over train control telephone outage; Limited restart could begin at 7 p.m.

Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 18:20

Dutch rail traffic shut down over train control telephone outage; Limited restart could begin at 7 p.m.

This story will be updated.

Most train traffic in the Netherlands ground to a halt on Thursday evening due to a telecommunications failure at the traffic control posts, national Dutch railway NS confirmed on its website. The failure with the telephone system meant that "very limited train traffic is currently possible," NS said just before 6 p.m.

The disruption was expected to last at least through 7 p.m., when a some trains could begin moving again, NS wrote in an update 40 minutes after the trouble started.

"Due to a telephone outage, we cannot reliably communicate with the drivers on the trains. As a result, train traffic in the country has come to a standstill," said railroad infrastructure firm ProRail.

Several people took to social media platforms to express their disappointment with the shutdown. "Haven't been on a train in a year and a half. How I didn't miss this," said NRC journalist Bart Funnekotter on Twitter.

A seemingly similar malfunction caused a shutdown of most rail operations in the country on May 31. Delays lasted hours even after the systems were restored, with normal operations restored a day later.

In that case, the dedicated wireless network, GSM-R, failed. The system, known as Global System for Mobile Communications - Railway, is used across Europe. The network was designed exclusively for the railways using 3G mobile phone technology, which also allows trains to transmit data about speed and location.

At the time of the May incident, Coen van Kranenburg of ProRail said that brief interruptions happened from time to time, but never such a major failure of the GSM-R system. "It is an incredibly stable network, with which there are rarely problems and which rarely breaks down," he told NOS.

Back in May, ProRail said that communication between train controllers and engineers is "essential for a safe timetable."

Dutch coverage:
Grote storing voorbij, treinverkeer langzaam weer opgestart
Telefoonstoring verholpen, treinverkeer komt mondjesmaat op gang
Storing verholpen, treinverkeer beperkt opgestart

NOTE: according to the latest updates just before posting, the malfunction has been resolved and train traffic is slowly restarting.


The Living Force
This is the text of the update part in the above article:
The complete disruption lasted about an hour, when some trains could begin moving again. The resumption of the train schedule was expected to happen gradually, causing delays through the evenings, ProRail said. The organization and NS both advised passengers not to travel Thursday night if possible, and to pay close attention to online travel planners before going to a train station.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
We are deeply saddened to learn local authorities are now confirming that three people have lost their lives as a result of this accident. There are also reported injuries among the passengers and crew members traveling on the train. Amtrak is working with the local authorities to transport those who were injured to medical care, and to safely evacuate everyone else at the scene.

Our Incident Response Team has been initiated, and we are sending emergency personnel and Amtrak leadership to the scene to help support our passengers, our employees and their families with their needs. Individuals with questions about their friends and family aboard this train should call 800-523-9101.
At approximately 4 p.m. MT, Empire Builder train 7/27, traveling westbound from Chicago to Seattle/Portland, derailed operating on BNSF tracks near Joplin, Mont. There were approximately 141 passengers and 16 crew members onboard. The train consisted of two locomotives and 10 cars, with eight of those cars derailing.

We have a team on the ground to fully support the NTSB as they investigate the cause of the derailment.
Service Adjustments:

As a result of the derailment, Empire Builder trains 7/27 and 8/28 originating on Saturday, Sept. 25, are cancelled between Minot, N.D. (MOT) and Shelby, Mont. (SBY). Additionally, on Sunday, Sept. 26, westbound Empire Builder train 7 will terminate in Minneapolis (MSP) and eastbound Empire Builder train 8 will originate in Minneapolis (MSP). No substitute transportation is available. Amtrak customers can contact us at 800-872-7245 to obtain additional information about the status of services.
Amtrak will provide additional details as they are available.

An Amtrak train derailed in Montana on Saturday, killing at least three people and setting off a massive effort to rescue passengers still trapped in the wreckage, authorities said.

The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the deaths to The Post, but wasn’t able to estimate the number of people injured.

The Empire Builder, which runs between Chicago and Seattle, had 146 passengers and 16 crew members on board when seven of its 10 cars derailed near Joplin around 4 p.m. on Saturday, Amtrak confirmed in a statement.

Amtrak said it is working with local authorities to help evacuate passengers.


At least three people have been killed in the Amtrak incident.Kimberly Fossen via AP

The National Transit Safety Board announced on Saturday night that it would be sending a “go-team” to investigate the deadly crash.

Photos circulated on social media showing passengers and responders standing next to the tipped-over train cars along a dirt road and fields.

The small town of Joplin boasts just a population of just a couple of hundred, and is about three hours north of state capital Helena. The heavily rural Liberty County has an estimated population just under 1 million, and is still larger than the state of Rhode Island, according to the latest U.S. census data.

A Spokane-based news director whose brother-in-law is a firefighter in Montana said in a tweet that responders “were dispatched & told to prepare for a large amount of people trapped – or worse.”

Witness Jeremiah Johnson told local outlets that responders used ladders to free people. Others had to be cut free.

“We had to lift a few people out with lots of volunteers and then cut some out …There was one lady in the back whose legs were trapped and was unable to be removed without using a saw (to cut away seats.),” Johnson told KRTV.

US Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mt.) announced on social media that he would monitor the situation as details unfold.

“Tragic news,” he wrote on Twitter. “I am thankful for the first responders already on the scene and praying for the safety of all involved. I am closely monitoring this situation as details emerge.”

Top Bottom