Three Swiss trains a day run with a known safety defect

In June 2022, a locomotive collided with a construction train at Zollikofen station in the canton of Bern. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

A report by the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board has warned that up to three Swiss trains a day run with a known defect in the accident prevention system.

This content was published on January 16, 2023 minutes

The information was revealed by Swiss public broadcaster, SRFExternal link, over the weekend and was based on an investigative report published last week into a train accident that occurred last June.

The report concluded that the driver had deactivated the automatic safety system in agreement with his superiors, because he had experienced problems in the past with repeated forced braking for no apparent reason. The report on the accident also revealed the reality on a national scale: three trains run every day in Switzerland with the safety system not functioning properly, according to an estimate by Swiss Federal Railway’s infrastructure department.

Regulations allow trains to circulate for up to 12 hours after a failure of the automatic safety system. However, a second person must join the driver’s cab as soon as possible, and if this is not possible, the speed must be limited to 80km/h.

The Federal Office of Transport conceded that adjustments would have to be made to the regulations and was in favour of introducing uniform rules that would apply to all rail companies throughout Switzerland.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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