Montpellier english summary
The Montpellier tram system has a common section shared by lines 1 and 2 in Rue Jules Ferry, situated on a 7% slope.
At 5:20 p.m. on 12 May 2010, tram 2032 on line 1 stopped in front of a red railway traffic light at the top of the slope in order to let tram 2053 on line 2 enter this common section. When the light changed to green, the driver of tram 2032 tried to set off again but the tram slipped backwards and struck the rear of tram 2053, which it had just allowed to enter a few moments before and which was situated at the exit of the common section at the intersection between both of the lines in question. The impact caused both trams to derail.
Two people were slightly injured in tram 2053 that was hit from behind.
The direct cause of the collision was the uncontrolled movement of tram 2032. This occurred because the newly trained driver did not adopt an appropriate procedure for starting the tram on a slope. This movement was not stopped because the driver, having lost his composure, did not activate the braking system.
The accident analysis led BEA-TT to issue four recommendations concerning the three following topics :
Operational procedures for starting on a slope and their acquisition through training
Assessment of the drivers’ abilities to react to complex situations, emergencies and stress, and training for these situations
Implementation of anti-runaway technology on new trams.