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Tossiat english summary

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publié le 26 août 2014

On Wednesday the 19 December 2007 at 09.15, TGV no 6561 hit a wide load that was stopped on level crossing 34, situated at the intersection of the RD 64 (Certines road) at Tossiat (01) and the MACON - AMBERIEU railway line. The accident caused the death of the driver of the road transport vehicle, slightly injured some of the train passengers and the driver and caused widespread material damage.

The two direct causes of the accident were :
- a poor appreciation of the size of the wide load and the effect that the change of height of the humpback road would have. This led to the back of the part being transported grounding at the entrance to the level crossing
- inadequate reaction on the part of the staff in charge of the convoy, which stopped the vehicle on the rails to lighten the load when nothing prevented them from freeing it, and the fact that then they waited there for almost five minutes before alerting the SNCF using the telephone at the level crossing.

The were also several causal factors which contributed to this accident :
- the late designation, after it was underway, of the convoy’s final destination, which meant that the haulier was not able to properly examine the journey or get the necessary authorisation
- the fact that authorisation was not requested for this final journey meant that the dispatch department was unable to give appropriate advice and instructions
- the failure to contact SNCF before crossing the LC, contact which might have led to the indication of a suitable time to cross and protection of the crossing
- the lack of attention to detail when planning the journey on the part of the haulage contractor who did not adequately monitor the organisation of his team on the ground ; in fact this team had found itself disorganised by the departure, that same morning of its most experienced driver
- the lack of knowledge, on the part of the team on the ground, concerning level crossings and the risks to be incurred by halting on them

An analysis of the circumstance which led to this accident has shed light on three areas which call for safety measures :
- adhesion to regulations that apply to wide loads
- the way wide loads are organised and journeys planned
- the training and experience of staff involved in transporting wide loads.

On these different points the BEA-TT drew up four recommendations which touched on the strengthening of checks/penalising of offences, the traceability of category 3 wide load itineraries, the improvement in the way teams on the ground are trained leading to better anticipation and a better understanding of their actions and finally the putting in place of a specific training module for wide load drivers.