Laluque english summary
At 12:46 on Friday 25 September 2009 SNCF freight train no. 56701 travelling to Bayonne hit an articulated lorry loaded with railway crossties on level crossing no. 77 on the Bordeaux to Irun line near Laluque Station (Landes).
This articulated lorry was manoeuvring to get into its delivery site inside the railway logistical hub (works base) adjacent to the main lines.
There were no casualties.
The LC facilities were damaged as was a catenary support. The front of the train was smashed in, the tractor badly damaged and the semi-trailer destroyed, spilling its load.
The immediate cause of the accident was the untimely stoppage of the heavy goods vehicle while making the manoeuvre on the level crossing.
The analysis highlighted four main causes :
the direct cause of the stoppage, linked to a possible driving error or a technical fault, which could not be precisely determined ;
underestimation by the lorry driver of the risks posed by the LC, leading him to make a manoeuvre comprising a risk of being stationary on the LC ;
the two lorry drivers’ lack of information about the access and traffic arrangements on the site, leading them to follow the wrong instructions given by people on the site ;
the lack of clarity, distribution and marking of traffic rules applicable on the works base, leading staff working on the site to unduly clutter up the main internal traffic lane and give lorry drivers erroneous instructions and directions.
This investigation led to the formulation of five recommendations concerning raising the awareness of professional drivers to the specific risks of level crossings, the systematic establishment of safety protocols between hauliers and host companies and operating processes on railway sites with road access.
It also led to a comment concerning the choice between rail and road transport.