Gare de Lyon Train Crash


On June 27th, 1988 a passenger thought that the train was meant to stop at her station, some 5 miles before Gare de Lyon. Pulling the communication cord, the train was brought to a halt.

Even after problems resetting the brakes left him with little braking, the driver increased speed to make up for the half hour delay. Believing that the secondary brakes would be ineffective due to wet weather, the driver radioed ahead with a warning when just over a mile away from the station.

A guard was late beginning his shift on another train, leaving it waiting at Gare de Lyon.

The resulting crash killed nearly 60 and seriously injured 32 more.

The accident resulted in legal proceedings against the driver, the passenger, the supervisor (who failed to evacuate the station), and the guard, resulting in prison sentences for the driver and guard.

Nationwide strikes brought pressure to bear and the sentences were later reduced.

Fix?

Although not a fix, sabotage is ruled out of the scope of most safety programs.

Similar?

The driver involved in the Granville train crash was unfairly blamed by the public.