Gimont english summary
At 8:40 a.m. on Monday 27 September 2010, a Regional Express Train (TER) travelling from Auch to Toulouse collided with a lorry on level crossing (LC) no. 76 (unmanned and marked by St. Andrew’s cross signals) at the locality of Julias near Gimont in the département of Gers.
11 people were injured in this collision, one seriously.
The direct cause of this accident was the lorry’s inability to cross over the level crossing before the arrival of the train, which could be observed 11 seconds before the accident.
Two factors played a decisive role in this situation :
The insufficient time between the moment at which the train entered the road user’s field of view and the moment at which it reached the level crossing. This is not enough time for the driver of an HGV that has stopped to ensure the absence of trains, to start up the vehicle and cross over the entire level crossing.
The alignment of the municipal road as it approaches and crosses the rail tracks, which prevents drivers of large vehicles from adopting the correct position at the entrance to the level crossing to have a clear view of the arrival of trains. This alignment also forces them to perform a tricky, low-speed manoeuvre when crossing the railway tracks.
The analysis of this accident led BEA-TT to issue three recommendations :
The first concerns the automatic light signals and audible signalling equipment with or without barriers for unmanned level crossings with Saint Andrew’s cross signals, at which trains exceed speeds of 40 km/h
The other two concern the modification and management of the access road to the hamlet of Julias via the RD 120 minor road.
In addition, this report provides an opportunity to remind railway companies and their drivers of the rules for using the acoustic warning signal on the approach to level crossings.