La Roche-en-Brenil english summary

On Monday 7 January 2008 at 10.12 a regional express train (TER) travelling between Autun and Avallon ran into a lorry trailer combination carrying surfacing materials on level crossing no. 19, without barriers, at La Roche-en-Brenil (Côte-d’Or).
This lorry trailer combination was travelling to a site in an industrial area situated next to the level crossing.
There were 6 slight injuries connected with this incident, all passengers in the train.

The direct and immediate cause of this accident was the driver of the lorry trailer combination driving onto the level crossing without taking account of the signs telling him to stop.

Three factors might have had a part to play in this accident :
 the absence of any prior assessment of traffic safety on the level crossing while work on the site was still in progress and therefore no liaison with the rail operator concerning measures that would ensure safety during this phase
 the lack of sufficient reaction on the part of the rail operator when it saw that traffic on the LC was incompatible with safety. A fact which should have led to a decision to consult the SNCF expert on LCs
 the absence of any details on the final planning for the level crossing and timescale for its completion made it very difficult to anticipate any safety problems that might occur during the construction phase.

The analysis of these factors led us to make two recommendations :
 the first was to remind the operators of the line of the action to take when they became aware of significant changes in road traffic on the level crossing
 the second was to ensure that locally delegated national planning services become aware of vital information from local authorities and the Prefect when they give planning permission which might require safety changes not laid down in an authorisation.

Besides these recommendations, this report invites public bodies to pursue an awareness campaign aimed at users of level crossings describing the precautions which should be taken and to widen the distribution of the Technical Department for Transport, Roads and Bridges Engineering and Road Safety’s (Sétra) information leaflet on road works near level crossings to all contractors and project managers who might be undertaking works that could affect safety on a level crossing.

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