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High-speed TGV derails on test run near Strasbourg

16 November 2015  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

Eleven people were killed whilst on board a high-speed TGV train during a test run on the recently constructed second section LGV Est line near Strasbourg.

High-speed TGV derails on test run near Strasbourg

(Image: Reuters)

At approximately 15.10 CET on Saturday 14 November 2015, a high-speed TGV Euroduplex set 744 train carrying fifty-three people, including technicians, railway workers and their families, derailed at Eckwersheim on the LGV Est line, 12km from Strasburg. The vehicle left the tracks on a bend ahead of a junction plummeting into a canal adjacent to the line. At a recent press announcement, prosecutor Alexandre Chevrier stated that the derailment occurred on a section of rail where the speed limit was 176 km / h; the “very experienced” injured driver did not exceed this speed. According to national operator SNCF, the incident left 11 people dead and 42 injured with several unauthorised rail workers’ children on board when the incident occurred.

High-speed TGV derails on test run near Strasbourg

TGV Euroduplex set 744. (Image: www.lgv-est.com)

TGV Euroduplex derailed at the set speed limit of 176 km / h   

The recently constructed 106km second phase of the line was undergoing tests by SNCF ahead of its scheduled opening to commercial traffic April next year.  The new 406 km Paris to Strasbourg route, which runs from Baudrecourt to Vendenheim, aims to reduce journey times and improve accessibility the regions of eastern France and eventually connect high speed lines in Paris to Bratislava and Budapest via Munich and Vienna.

LGV-Est-route

Second phase of the East European LGV part of the European Commission’s TEN-T project. (Image: www.lgv-est.com)

Three investigations are now underway by the Office of Land Transport Accident Inquiries (BEA-TT), an internal investigation by SNCF and a judicial inquiry. It is expected the opening of the line will now be delayed.

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