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2018/10

Report on collision between train 135 and a road grader at Høium level crossing, Østfoldbanen line 23 January 2018

At 23.05 on Tuesday 23 January 2018, train 135 collided with a road grader at Høium level crossing on the Østfoldbanen line. Four passengers sustained minor injuries in the collision. The train had been given the signal to proceed, but this is no guarantee that the level crossing is free of larger objects.

The train sustained significant body damage to the front and around the first bogie. The road grader was a total write-off, and there was minor damage to the road safety system. 10 metres of rails, 2 rail welds and 12 concrete sleepers had to be replaced. Another 600 concrete sleepers have subsequently been replaced. The road grader was removing ice and snow from the road when its engine failed. The grader remained standing between the barriers, with the cab, engine and bogie on the level crossing. The driver was unable to restart the engine, and there was no light on the road grader. Neither the marker lights nor the emergency lighting were working. The driver then attempted to warn of the danger, but did not make contact before the train came.

The signal displayed to the train driver indicated that it was safe to proceed. A road safety system that displays the signal indicating that it is safe to proceed is not confirmation that the level crossing is clear. Technical solutions exist that can detect large objects on a level crossing and will prevent the train being given the signal to proceed. Obstacle detection systems are not in use in Norway at present. In addition, most level crossings are not equipped with location information and information about where to call in the event of a dangerous situation.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) proposes two safety recommendations: It is recommends that Bane NOR SF consider posting contact and location information at all level crossings, and consider strengthening the barriers in the road safety systems as part of the work to update the signal system.

Photo: AIBN

IMG_4548

Photo: NSB AS

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation JB No 2018/15T

At 23.06 on Tuesday 23 January 2018, train 135 collided with a road grader that had broken down at Høium level crossing on the Østfoldbanen line. The driver tried to warn of the danger, but had problems contacting the proper authority. No place name or contact information was posted at the level crossing.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Railway Authority recommend Bane NOR SF to post emergency telephone numbers and location information at all level crossings.

Safety recommendation JB No 2018/16T

At 23.06 on Tuesday 23 January 2018, train 135 collided with a road grader at Høium level crossing on the Østfoldbanen line. Because of the road grader's position between the barriers, the signal indicating that it was safe to proceed was displayed to the train driver. Bane NOR SF has no systems in place that can alert the train driver to obstacles at level crossings with road safety systems.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Railway Authority request Bane NOR SF to consider strengthening the barriers in the road safety systems in connection with the work to upgrade the signal system.

Facts

Location Høium level crossing
Occurrence date 23.01.2018
Train No 135
Type of Transportation Passenger train
Type of occurrence Level-crossing accident
Rolling Stock Multippel Unit (MU)

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