Amilly english summary
On 27 October 2012 at 8.08, SNCF train No 320012 made up of two locomotives running light on track 2 of the Paris – Le Mans line in the Chartres direction hit a car and a minibus on level crossing No 40 located at Amilly in Eure-et-Loir (28).
The driver of the car, who was alone in the vehicle, was seriously injured. The minibus driver was killed. Its four passengers were injured, two of whom seriously.
The immediate cause of the accident was the premature opening of the level crossing when the train involved was still approaching, at a distance comprised between 300 m and 220 m from the road.
This reopening was triggered by the untimely resetting of this level crossing’s announcement device, whose causes it has not been possible to determine with certainty.
The investigations carried out suggest two scenarios – whose probability is extremely low in both cases – that could explain this resetting. They both involve the deshunting of one of the announcement zone’s track circuits.
In the first scenario, the most likely of the two, this deshunting would have been of very short duration, but would have occurred at the same time as the untimely dropping of the short zone’s track circuit.
In the second scenario, the deshunting of the announcement zone would have lasted longer than one minute, thus enabling the triggering and holding of the level crossing’s opening release timeout.
The analysis of these two scenarios leads to three recommendations being made. The first one concerns the safety of the resetting function for certain announcement devices on level crossings with automatic light and sound signals. The other two concern the ability of certain diesel locomotives to shunt track circuits.