R2012-01 Derailment of two freight train wagons in Kouvola railway yard, Finland on 14 January 2012
An accident occurred in the Kouvola freight traffic yard at 00.15 hrs on 14th January 2012 when two wagons of a departing freight train were derailed immediately after their departure. One of the derailed wagons struck a signal post, which collapsed onto an electric railway portal ten minutes later. The electrical cables for seven tracks were brought down by the portal’s collapse. No personal injuries resulted.
The accident was caused by a stop block left under the train. Difficult weather conditions and darkness made it difficult to see the stop block. Additionally, the brake tester responsible for removing the stop block decided to perform an extra shunt on the train in place of standard procedures, because the train had moved too far alongside the shunting signal.
The Safety Investigation Authority made two recommendations. The operator should improve the visibility of the stop block and develop its yard work instructions in order to take account of all situations that arise during normal work. Instructions important to safety should be presented as a checklist.