Report on collision between train 474 and a rock-fall close to Bjerka station, Nordlandsbanen 3 October 2016

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On 3 October 2016 at approx. 21:55 hour train 474 collided with a rock-fall in to the track. In addition to the train driver and head conductor, there were 14 passengers on board the train. Two of the passengers suffered minor injuries and were sent for a medical examination. The material damage to the train and infrastructure was extensive.

Bane NOR had inspected the area and implemented rockfall protection measures. The risk class was set to R1, and the next inspection was scheduled for 2023. The boulders that came down broke from a rock cutting where individual boulders were secured by rock bolts. The rockfall was caused by earth and rock material that came loose from the slope above the track and crashed into the rockfall ditch that had been constructed. The rockfall was so big that some of the boulders landed on the track. The rockfall was caused by the collapse of an earth-filled crack behind the boulders, which was sloped towards the railway line. The boulders that had been bolted remained in the rock cutting. A triggering factor may have been heavy rain that had washed away gouge material behind and under the rock, which caused it to collapse.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) submits one safety recommendation. It states that Bane NOR should have procedures that address the increased risk of landslides and rockfalls resulting from changes in the climate and weather.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation JB No 2017/05T

On Monday 3 October 2016, a passenger train ran into a rockfall and derailed just north of Bjerka Station on the Nordland line. Most of the boulders fell into the rockfall ditch, but some boulders landed on the track. The rockfall started in an area that had been inspected and where protection measures had been implemented.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Railway Authority ensure that Bane NOR SF develops adequate procedures and methods to monitor slope stability resulting from changes in the climate and weather.

Close to Bjerka station
Occurrence date
Train No
Type of Transportation
Passenger train
Type of occurrence
Rolling Stock
Multippel Unit (MU)
Skriv ut
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