Derailment of a freight train in Toijala, Finland, on 16 June 2009

On 16 June 2009 at 8:51pm, 10 wagons of a freight train en route from Turku to Tampere were derailed in Toijala, Finland. Five of the wagons were overturned. The derailed wagons were numbers 17–26 on the 30-wagon-long train. The train was travelling at 70 km/h when it derailed. The speed limit was 80 km/h.

The derailment began at turnout V004. After the accident, it was discovered that the turnout was turned to the side. It has not yet been determined what caused the points to be set in the wrong position – i.e., whether this was a cause or consequence.

The Accident Investigation Board has appointed an investigation commission to investigate the accident. Chief Rail Accident Investigator Esko Värttiö was appointed as investigator-in-charge, and Timo Kivelä, regional director of JAKK; Mika Hatakka, Ph.D. (Psych.); and investigator Reijo Sarantila were appointed as members. Matti Katajala from Safety Advisor Oy was appointed to the commission as a safety expert.

Status of the investigation

At present, the investigation has covered examination of the site, inspection of the derailed wagons, and a visual inspection of the turnout where the derailment occurred. This railroad switch has been relocated for further investigation. Under investigation are also the operation of safety equipment and the turnout’s control equipment.

The investigation commission will also investigate the traffic control response in the time immediately after the accident, the clearing of the accident site, and repair work after the accident.

The investigation will proceed in a routine manner, with a break during the summer holidays.

Source of further information:
Esko Värttiö
040 547 5484

Published 3.7.2009