Last weekendâ€™s TGV derailment on the LGV Est line near Strasbourg was caused by excessive speed and late breaking finds initial investigation carried out by French operator SNCF.
On Thursday 19 November 2015, SNCF president Guillaume Pepy confirmed an initial investigation into the derailment of a TGV Euroduplex test train on Saturday 14 November was caused by late breaking due to excessive speed on a bend near Eckwersheim, 12km from Strasburg. SNCF investigations also revealed that no abnormalities were detected in the condition and operation of infrastructure and no failures were identified in technical tests and traffic management.
TGV derailment caused by vehicle approaching bend at 265 km/hr instead of 176 km/hr
The high speed TGV Euroduplex set 744 train carrying fifty-three people, including technicians, railway workers and their families, was undergoing a trial on the second section LGV Est line between Paris and Strasbourg. According to SNCFâ€™s initial investigation, the vehicle approached a bend on the Eckwersheim stretch at 265 km/hr instead of 176 km/hr. At the time of derailment the high-speed train had reduced its speed to 243 km/hr. Tests on the line allow for a 10 percent increase in speed above the set limit, however, SNCF state that brakes should have been applied at least 1km earlier to reduce speed before entering the bend.
SNCF will establish an expertise committee to present conclusions and recommendations within the next six months and produce an interim report in 3 months.
In the interim SNCF has halted high speed test runs and will prohibit unauthorised persons on board test runs and at test sites.
Investigations into the derailment, which cost the lives of 11 people, will continue by the Office of Land Transport Accident Inquiries (BEA-TT) and a judicial inquiry. The opening of the line, scheduled for April 2016 is expected to be delayed.