C1/1998R Hazardous situation in railway traffic in Hämeenlinna, on February 4, 1998

On Wednesday, February 4, 1998, two fast trains travelling in opposite directions found themselves on the same track at Harviala, south of Hämeenlinna. The train drivers having perceived the red ”stop” signal aspects, activated the emergency braking of the trains, which then stopped at a distance of 500 m from each other.

The hazardous situation was generated by the driver of the M165 fast train, failing to perceive the ”wait stop” aspect in the EoP099 distant signal of the P099 main signal. The ”wait stop” aspect anticipates a ”stop” aspect in the main signal. However the driver only perceived the main signal aspect. The hazardous situation was aggravated by the poor braking capacity of the train. The train failed to come to a full stop within the specified 1 200 m, in spite of the emergency braking.

On the basis of this hazardous situation, the Accident Investigation Board of Finland does not consider it necessary to issue any new recommendations. Instead the Accident Investigation Board repeatedly recommends the building of the ATC (Automatic Train Control) system to be accelerated. In addition attention should be paid to the braking capacity of passenger coaches and particularly the adequate operation of the anti-skid devices.

C1/1998R Report (pdf, 0.23 Mt)

Published 4.2.1998