C7/1998R Hazardous situation in rail traffic at Vilppula on April 26, 1998

On Sunday, 26 April 1998 at 11.24 hours, a hazardous situation arose at Vilppula when a fast train approaching the station faced a distant signal with a ”wait proceed” aspect and a main signal with a ”proceed” aspect, though the turnout was turned sidewise towards track III which permitted a maximum speed of 35 km/h. The accident was avoided, as the driver of the approaching train knew that the arrival track was track III and that access thereto was through the sn35 turnout.

Having perceived the distant signal aspect, the engine driver asked the dispatcher if the arrival track had been changed. The dispatcher having confirmed that track III was the arrival track, the driver managed to decrease the speed of the train before reaching the arrival turnout.

The hazardous situation was caused by some of the relays of the signal box having failed to take their neutral position. As a result, though the route was set to track III, the signals displayed straight-ahead proceeding for the train, i.e. track II as the arrival track.

In order to avoid similar hazardous situations and possible accidents, Accident Investigation Board Finland recommends a checking of the signal boxes of this particular type and a realisation of any requisite additional connections.

C7/1998R Report (pdf, 0.22 Mt)

•Recommendation S111

Published 26.4.1998