Biggest Czech train crash since 2008: Munich – Prague Express driver responsible

Train crash near Domazlice. Credit: Rail Safety InspectionTrain crash near Domazlice. Credit: Rail Safety Inspection

The final report refutes some of the speculations that emerged after the accident.

The Rail Safety Inspection (Drazni inspekce) has concluded its investigation into the causes of last year’s most tragic accident on the Czech railway. The collision of two trains near Domazlice was caused by the driver who died in the accident. The Rail Safety Inspection ruled out the possibility that the driver was blinded or that the signaling device was poorly visible.

This follows from the final report published on the Rail Safety Inspection website. The accident occurred on August 4, 2021, at 8:06 a.m. at the Radonice passing siding when the Ex 351 Western Express from Munich to Prague collided with the Os 7406 passenger train from Plzen to Domazlice. Both trains collided head-on and derailed. Three people died and 56 were injured. The total damage amounted to CZK 178 million.

The accident occurred because the driver of the Western Express was supposed to wait for an arriving passenger train at the passing siding, but he did not respect the stop signal. The final report refutes some of the speculations that emerged after the accident, for example about the poorly visible signaling devices. “The signaling device was visible from 247 meters, whereas the required visibility was 156 meters,” the Rail Safety Inspection writes.

“The Rail Safety Inspection investigated the possibility of the Ex 351 driver being blinded by the sun. During the journey from the Radonice passing siding to the arrival signaling device, the sun rays were directed towards the driver from the right side at an angle of approximately 105–90° and then, during the journey to the Radonice passing siding departure signaling device S1, from the right side at an angle of approximately 55–65°. The direction of the sun rays could not have caused a blinding effect for the driver of Ex 351,” the inspection stated.

The Radonice passing siding is located near the village of Milavce. The collision occurred just 87 meters beyond the signaling device where the driver of the Western Express was due to stop, at switch no. 1. Both drivers and one passenger on the passenger train were killed in the accident.

Testimony: A respected driver

It has been said of the driver of the express train that he was one of the most renowned and respected drivers on the Czech side as well as on the German side.

The extent of the damage makes this the biggest crash on Czech railways since 2008. Damage to the locomotive amounted to CZK 76.3 million, to the passenger cars totaling almost CZK 34 million, and to the RegioShark unit CZK 65 million.

 

Tagy Czech Railways Rail Safety Inspection train crash
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