Report on serious railway incident near Finneid bridge at the Nordlandsbanen line 23 November 2017

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Description

On Thursday 23 November 2017, a container fell off freight train 5790 near Finneid bridge just south of Fauske station. The train was southbound from Bodø to Trondheim. The Nordlandsbanen line runs parallel to the E6 road where the incident occurred, and the swap body came to rest between the railway line and the road. No one was injured in this incident. The investigation has shown that the wind forces in connection with the storm Ylva was powerful enough to rotate a container off the freight train.

Containers and swap bodies on freight wagons are held in place and secured by means of spigots. Their design is based on the principle that it should be easy to load and unload containers and swap bodies onto/off freight wagons and heavy goods vehicles, while they should also prevent the containers from falling off. CargoNet AS does not use additional locks during their transports. Nor are other railway undertakings in Norway or Europe known to do so.

When the train was unloaded after arriving in Trondheim, the soft top of a swap body was found to be damaged. An inspection showed damage to the structural members of the Stokkalia snow shed. Pieces of beams found in the container combined with the damage to the soft top showed that the damage had been caused by the swap body. The top of a swap body container is opened and closed using a manual hydraulic pump. On older models such as the one in question, the pressure in the hydraulic system locks the roof in the closed position. The hydraulic system had been torn from its fastenings, and the investigation suggests that the swap body's top cannot have been completely closed after loading in Bodø.

Wind calculations carried out in connection with the investigation show that a gust of wind must exceed 33 m/s to tip an empty 25-foot swap body with Lagab legs off a two-axle container freight wagon. The values used in the calculation are conservative, as the analysis did not take the speed of the train into account. The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) is of the opinion that Bane NOR SF must review its weather preparedness and consider establishing a system to notify railway undertakings of weather situations when strong winds can be expected. At the same time the AIBN propose that railway undertakings establish procedures that describe necessary measures for safe train operations when receiving notification from the infrastructure manager of strong wind.

The AIBN proposes two safety recommendations based on this investigation. The first concerns expanding Bane NOR’s weather preparedness to include notifying railway undertakings of strong winds. The second recommends that railway undertakings should have procedures in place to assess cargo securing when receiving notifications of strong winds and extreme weather conditions from the infrastructure manager.

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Photos: Photographer Tom Melby, Avisa Nordland

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation JB No 2018/13T

On Thursday 23 November 2017, the wind tipped an empty 25-foot swap body container off freight train 5790 near Finneid bridge south of Fauske station. The Nordlandsbanen line runs parallel with the E6 road at that point, and the swap body came to rest between the railway line and the road. Wind calculations show that a gust of wind must exceed 33 m/s to tip a swap body of this kind off a two-axle freight wagon. Bane NOR SF’s instructions concerning measures to be taken in connection with adverse weather conditions are inadequate as regards the implementation of measures when strong winds are forecast.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Railway Authority request Bane NOR SF to expand its weather preparedness to include notifying railway undertakings of strong winds.

Safety recommendation JB No 2018/14T

On 23 November 2017, the wind tipped an empty 25-foot swap body container off freight train 5790 near Finneid bridge, south of Fauske station. The Nordlandsbanen line runs parallel with the E6 road at that point, and the swap body came to rest between the railway line and the road. Wind calculations show that gusts of wind in excess of 33 m/s can tip an empty 25-foot swap body off a two-axle freight wagon. It is currently not common practice to employ extra securing of empty or lightly loaded containers and swap bodies when strong winds are forecast.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Railway Authority request the railway undertakings to consider introducing guidelines for considering measures to ensure safe train operation when receiving notifications of strong winds from the infrastructure manager.

Location
Finneid
Occurrence date
23.11.2017
Train No
5790
Type of Transportation
Freight train
Type of occurrence
Critical infrastructure events
Rolling Stock
Freight wagon
image
Report on serious railway incident near Finneid bridge at the Nordlandsbanen line 23 November 2017 Download report
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