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Technical problem likely cause of Eurostar derailment

  : Monday June 6, 2000
A technical fault is believed to have caused the derailment of a Eurostar
Eurostar derailment
photo: The Times
train in northern France yesterday (05 June) according to investigators.

An earlier theory now discounted, that it might have been sabotage followed the deliberate derailment of a passenger train near Lyon on Sunday. The British driver of the train told reporters that he did not know why it had derailed.

The Eurostar train had been travelling between Paris and London when the lead power car and the following coach came off the line. The train remained upright and was brought safely to a halt.

The incident occurred at about 17:00 (BST), about an hour into the train's journey which was to have taken it to London's Waterloo station via the Channel Tunnel. The train, carrying about 541passengers was travelling at 150 mph at the time of the accident.

Despite the speed of the train when the derailment occurred, there were no serious injuries. A number of passengers however did suffer minor cuts and bruises and some were treated for shock.

The Eurostar service has an excellent safety record. This is the first such incident since operations commenced 6 years ago.

Eurostar Facts and Figures
  photo:Erik Evrard
Length: 393.72m (1291' 8")
Width: 2.81m (9' 4")
Empty weight: 752,400kg (1,658,000 lbs)
Operating weight: 816,000kg (1,798,000 lbs)
Seating: 794 (210 - 1st class; 584 - 2nd class)
Max Speed: 300 km/h (186 mph)
Number in Service: 31 (SNCF: 16; BR: 11; SNCB: 4)
Date in Service: 1994

Due to different standards in the countries in which they operate, Eurostar trainsets are equipped to operate under 3 different power supplies:
Overhead: 25 kV 50 Hz: 12200 kW (16400 hp)
Overhead: 3 kV DC: 5700 kW (7640 hp)
Third Rail: 750 V DC: 3400 kW (4560 hp)

Join the discussion

Web sources:
Eurostar train goes off rails at 150mph
The Times 06 Jun 2000
Eurostar passengers tell of scare
ThisIsLondon 06 Jun 2000
Eurostar train derailment causes minor injuries
Annanova 05 Jun 2000
Eurostar train derails in France
BBC Online 05 Jun 2000
No serious injuries as Eurostar derails in France
Annanova 05 Jun 2000



The Unofficial Eurostar Page

Eurostar Technical & Historical Information

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This file last updated: Tuesday, 06-Jun-2000 11:46:13 EDT
Copyright © David Fry 1999, 2000