Choisy-le-Roi english summary
At 8:36 p.m. on 20 December 2009, in Choisy-le-Roi, the RER (Regional Express Network) train no. 145867 hit a block of stone that had fallen onto the line. Following this impact, the train derailed, pulling up the track on which it was travelling and tearing down approximately 500 m of the catenary system for the four tracks, while ploughing into the adjacent track. 37 people were injured in the accident, two of them seriously. All were situated in the first carriage of the train.
Several minutes earlier, this block of stone, originating from the parapet of the road bridge crossing the rail tracks of the Quai Jules Guesde, had been struck by a car coming from Vitry-sur-Seine and then toppled onto the railway lines below.
The direct and immediate cause of this accident was the loss of control of a road vehicle which had collided with the stone parapet of a bridge and pushed a block onto the railway line.
Four factors contributed to this loss of control :
The excessive speed of the vehicle, taking account of the weather conditions and the condition of the carriageway
A slight collision with a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction
The possible effects of alcohol and drug consumption by the driver
The failure of the ABS system.
Furthermore, the lack of protection for the bridge parapet, which was not designed to withstand such an impact, could not prevent the block of stone from falling, and the failure to alert the rail operator meant that the train could not be stopped in time to avoid the accident.
This prompted the BEA-TT to ask the public authorities to continue their current policy regarding road safety improvement measures, by focusing on the abovementioned points in particular : adapting speed to suit the weather and road conditions, excessive speeds and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.