Commuter train comes off tracks in Swiss capital

Rail employees work to get things moving after a derailment at the main station in Bern.

Exactly a week after a major train derailment in Lucerne, a local train went off the tracks just outside the main station in Bern on Wednesday afternoon. Nobody was hurt, but disrupted service is expected until Thursday midday.

This content was published on March 29, 2017 minutes

The 90 passengers, including two with young children in prams, were able to disembark and walk back to the station without any problems. The accident occurred as the train, run by Swiss railway company BLSExternal link, was leaving Bern’s main station on its way to Sumiswald.

The derailed S44 train has resulted in delays and train cancellations, in particular between Bern and Zurich. Initially, Swiss Federal RailwaysExternal link spokesman Christian Ginsig estimated that the 20 or so railway workers on the scene would have the situation back under control within hours. But by Wednesday evening, it was clear that the workers would need more time to move the derailed carriage with a crane and to repair the track.

The train itself was not damaged. The cause of the derailment, which happened at 12:51 on Track 13, is unclear. Two bogies slipped off the track, but the carriage remained upright. Rail workers helped passengers disembark safely at about 13:30.

Nothing like Lucerne

As Ginsig pointed out to, the incident was nowhere near as dramatic as the derailment in LucerneExternal link, which resulted in minor injuries and over four days of travel disruption.On March 22, a Eurocity train operated by the federal railways derailed in the afternoon as it pulled out of Lucerne’s main rail station, injuring six passengers. It was travelling from Milan in northern Italy to the northwestern Swiss city of Basel.

That accident, which is being investigated, shut down the Lucerne station for four and a half days to allow crews to repair millions of francs in damage. 

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