C6/2004R Two Russian container wagons loaded with sulphur dioxide carrying containers derailed at Harjavalta on 7 June, 2004
On Monday June 7, 2004 during shunting operations within a plant area at Harjavalta, two container wagons loaded with sulphur dioxide carrying containers derailed. No personal injury was caused by the incident. About 50 meters of track was damaged and the wheelsets had to be replaced in the two wagons.
The derailment took place when a shunting unit was picking up the wagons in the plant area: the locomotive was pushing nine wagons and pulling one wagon when two wagons that were pushed derailed in a steep curve. When perceiving the derailment, the shunting foreman immediately stopped the shunting unit. The derailment took place at a slow speed and hence the resulting damage was relatively slight.
The derailment was caused by the poor condition of the track. Important lateral pegs, that is, rail joint wear had been generated in the steep curve. Moreover the insufficient tamping of the track and the probably non-bent rails used in the curve contributed to its poor condition.
In order to prevent corresponding incidents in the future, the Accident Investigation Board of Finland recommends that the company responsible for the maintenance of the track in question draw up a maintenance plan for the railway lay-out specifying the regular maintenance operations to be implemented for the railway lay-out.