Bahn begins renovation program
Report: Dilapidated sleepers are the cause of the Garmisch train accident
06/01/2023, 12:25 p.m
A year ago, five people died in a train accident in Bavaria. The investigators are now presenting a first report. Accordingly, ailing thresholds were the reason for the disaster. The group now wants to replace almost half a million sleepers nationwide. He emphasizes that the action is precautionary.
According to the current state of investigation, damaged concrete sleepers were the main cause of the fatal train accident in Garmisch-Partenkirchen a year ago. A comes to this result Interim report of the Federal Office for Railway Accident Investigation. When a regional train to Munich derailed, five people died and 78 were injured. According to Deutsche Bahn, this confirms its suspicions and refers to a corresponding renovation program. “Special inspections” began immediately after the “tragic accident”.
In the interim report, the accident investigators name a “defect in the superstructure” of the railway line as the primary cause of the derailment of the regional train. The prestressed concrete sleepers “laid at the scene of the accident showed signs of damage”, which meant that the so-called rail supports as the links between the rail and the concrete broke away. “That is what is currently secured,” said a BEU spokesman. “The investigations into the cause of the accident are much more extensive and ongoing.”
In the interim report, the authority also emphasizes that its investigations were not intended to establish culpability, to clarify questions of liability or other civil claims. The public prosecutor’s office in Munich II recently investigated four accused railway employees on suspicion of negligent homicide.
Hundreds more construction sites
The railway had announced the day before that it would be replacing hundreds of thousands of sleepers nationwide. Travelers must therefore be prepared for hundreds of additional construction sites. The state-owned group wants to replace around 480,000 concrete sleepers as a result of the accident, he said. “This involves more than 400 additional construction sites in the rail network, which have a significant impact on travelers and freight customers.”
The southeast region and thus the federal states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia are particularly affected. According to its own statements, the company has been checking sleepers with a certain rock mixture for months and replacing them if necessary. The Group always points out that these measures were taken as a precautionary measure.
Even without replacing the sleepers, extensive construction and repairs are being carried out on the railway network, which is overburdened and outdated in many places. In April, therefore, only 70 percent of long-distance trains were on time, i.e. with a delay of no more than six minutes. No figures were available for May.