C6/2002R Private on-duty locomotive colliding with freight train leaving Kouvola railway yard on 6 June, 2002

On 6 June 2002 an accident took place on Kouvola railway yard: a private on-duty locomotive with its cars collided with a moving freight train about to leave the yard. In the crash the on-duty locomotive, seven freight-train cars and track installations were damaged.

The on-duty locomotive was moving loaded cars, when on a steep down-hill, it started to travel towards the yard. In spite of the braking, the locomotive continued to run past the level crossing and on the turnout, it bumped into the freight train about to leave.

The accident was caused by the effect of the brakes of the on-duty locomotive being insufficient to stop the vehicle unit on the steep down-hill. With consideration of the braking capacity of the locomotive and the topographical conditions, the engine driver and the shunting work foreman (that is, a train crew member) tried to move too heavy a vehicle unit (267 tonnes).

To prevent corresponding accidents, the Accident Investigation Board of Finland recommends that also locomotives used for moving of cars on private tracks be equipped so as to enable the use of the air brakes of the cars, if so required by the topographical circumstances.

C6/2002R Report (pdf, 0.34 Mt)

•Recommendation S178

Published 6.6.2002