Brétigny disaster report dismissed

Court-appointed experts conclude that tracks at Brétigny were in serious state of disrepair, newspaper claims

6 July 2014

BOTH SNCF and RFF have dismissed a damning report into last year’s Brétigny rail disaster that claims France’s rail network is in state of disrepair that “has never been seen before”.

Seven people died when an intercity train derailed and smashed into the platform at Brétigny-sur-Orge, on July 12, 2013.

Nearly a year to the day later, the report by experts Michel Dubernard and Pierre Henquenet - who were appointed by the courts to examine the cause of the crash - found more than 200 problems “of varying degrees of criticality” on the track where the crash happened and said that the damage had been caused "over several months".

It concluded that "most of these problems were known to SNCF" and had not been adequately repaired, Le Figaro reported yesterday.

But both train operator SNCF and rail infrastructure company RFF have insisted that the entire “French rail network is the subject of very high maintenance and constant monitoring” and said that “the greatest caution is needed in the interpretation of published extracts in the press”.

The presidents of the two companies are due to give a press conference at 5pm today.

SNCF has said the accident was caused by a connecting bar that had come loose at a rail switchpoint.

Last month, an independent expert also claimed that poor track maintenance was the cause of the accident.

A memorial service is due to be held for the victims of the Brétigny rail crash on Saturday.

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