C6/2005R Liquid gas wagon derailing at Raahe on 30 August, 2005

On Tuesday 30 August, 2005, the rear bogie of a wagon loaded with propane gas derailed on Raahe freight yard. The wagon in question was the sixth wagon of the train and the second one of a group of six propane gas wagons. The wagon derailed when the train was being pulled from a track to another track. No personal injury was caused. The derailed bogie of the derailed liquid gas wagon and its wheelsets were damaged. The frame beam of the wagon defleated and the rear-end traction equipment was damaged. One side buffer in the front end of a liquid gas wagon that was located behind the derailed wagon, as well as its traction equipment and brake conduit were damaged. The western junction track was damaged over a length of about 30 meters from derailing turnout onwards. The eastern track was reopened for traffic the same evening while the western track had to wait yet three days. The total costs generated by the incident amounted to about € 29,000.

The derailing of the bogie of the wagon resulted from a turnout position with both blades slightly open, when the wheelsets of the bogie entered the turnout. Therefore both wheel flanges slipped between the blade and the rail. The turnout had probably failed to be turned and the point had been trailed when the wagons were pushed toward the trailing point at a low speed, and hence the turnout remained in an intermediary position. When the pulling of the wagons was commenced, the turnout started to return to its initial position and when the wheels of the third bogie entered the turnout, it had assumed an intermediary position that allowed both wheels to penetrate between the blade and the rail. The turnout having probably failed to be operated implies a human error, to which several simultaneous stress factors contributed. Moreover the system in no way prevented the performance of shunting movements while the turnout featured an erroneous or intermediary position.

Following a derailment having occurred on 5 September, 2005, a feedback meeting was held by VR, the rescue services and the police, and a decision was made to update VR's Raahe alarm and emergency notice forms and to reduce shunting work at Raahe for trainsets with liquid gas wagons.

In order to prevent similar accidents in the future, the Accident Investigation Board of Finland recommends that communications, also to Rautaruukki works , concerning rolling stock movements be operated by such a radiophone connection that VR uses in shunting work and that is recorded in a speech register. The Board also recommends that a system be designed for the safety control of manually operated turnouts, as well, so as to emit a warning signal whenever a turnout features an erroneous position and eventually so as to prevent any entry to a turnout in an erroneous position, and that shunting work for wagons carrying dangerous goods be prohibited on marshalling yards that are not equipped with a system controlling the position of the turnouts.

C6/2005R Report (pdf, 0.94 Mt)

•Recommendation S206

•Recommendation S207

•Recommendation S208

Published 30.8.2005