Information published on 22 March 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 490.

Czech Republic: Fewer accidents on the Czech railway last year

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Last year, 916 accidents with 234 fatalities occurred on the network operated by the Railway Infrastructure Administration. Both these numbers demonstrate a decrease compared to the previous period. On the contrary, estimated physical damage increased considerably, namely twice compared to 2014. This was caused especially by the collision of the Pendolino train with a truck at the Studénka railway crossing in July which was the most tragic event of the last year in several aspects.

”For three successive years the occurrence of accidents on the Czech railway has not exceeded the limit of a thousand cases. Last year’s result is the best of the last five years. At the same time, the share of responsibility of our employees approaching ten percent is also decreasing”, said Mr Pavel Surý, Director General of the Railway Infrastructure Administration. The railway infrastructure manager was thus responsible for less than a hundred accidents.

Last year, 234 fatalities occurred on the network of the Railway Infrastructure Administration which means a decrease of almost 16% compared to 2014. More than two hundred of them were acting in a clear intent of suicide. 154 collisions of railway vehicles with participants of road traffic including pedestrians occurred on railway crossings claiming 32 fatalities. For three successive years already, not a single person has died on the railway through the fault of the Railway Infrastructure Administration; no accident on a railway crossing was caused during the same period by the infrastructure manager either.

A less positive summary can be seen while assessing the amount of physical damage which reached almost 529 million CZK. This is an increase by 291 million compared to the previous year which means an increase by 122%. Unfortunately for several years already, the number of accidents where railway vehicles did not stop in front of signals forbidding further ride is slowly increasing. Last year, more than 89 such cases were recorded; however, the Railway Infrastructure Administration was responsible only once.

The “black day” of the Czech railway was last 22 July when a truck with Polish registration marks remained between closed barriers at the railway crossing near Studénka Station; in no time, a Pendolino train running on an express line from Brno to Františkovy Lázně hit the truck. The accident claimed the lives of three passengers and four others were seriously injured as well as the train driver. Physical damage exceeded 157 million CZK which represents almost one third of total physical damage during last year.

(Source: SZDC)