C2/1999R Freight train derailing at Jalasjärvi on February 19, 1999

On 19 February 1999, Friday morning, a train accident took place at Jalasjärvi resulting in 15 freight cars derailing. The freight train was travelling towards Kaskinen when the right-side bearing of an axle was damaged, then it overheated and finally got stuck. At about 9 kilometres from the scene of the accident, the axle in question of the double-axle wagon broke and the wheelset derailed. The wheelset travelled along by the track up to the southern turnout at Jalasjärvi where it rolled to the right. The freight wagon turned transversely whereupon the following 14 wagons also derailed. The wagons were carrying timber.

The wheel travelling along by the track broke rail fastenings and sleepers over an about 9 kilometres distance. Tracks and signalling and safety equipment on the Jalasjärvi railway yard were badly damaged. The accident caused delays in train traffic, which in fact was everso problematic in terms of the peak skiing season and the exceptionally busy rail traffic. The direct costs of the accident amounted to FIM 5 million.

The accident was caused by a wheel flat having been generated as a result of the blocking of the wheel of the wagon. The wheel flat again caused an excessive shock-type vertical stress in the axle bearing. The bearing heated, damaged and finally stuck, whereupon the axle broke.

In order to prevent corresponding accidents, Accident Investigation Board Finland recommends a generalized use of wheel-flat detection instruments and an extended adoption of the audition method for wheel-flat detection.Furthermore Accident Investigation Board Finland reiterates its earlier recommendation to develop the control of the overheating of bearings and to develop the corresponding control devices.

C2/1999R Report (pdf, 0.69 Mt)

  • Recommendation S85
  • Recommendation S113

Published 19.2.1999