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Private rail row after crash delays

An inquiry is to be held into a rail crash that delayed holiday travellers after claims privatisation was to blame

AN official inquiry is to be launched into the midweek rail crash that blocked the Paris-Bordeaux line and delayed about 30,000 travellers.

Two freight trains were involved and sparked claims the privatisation of the rail haulage industry was to blame for the incident between an SNCF freight train and one from private company ECR, which was carrying diggers.

Transport minister Dominique Bussereau called for the inquiry but said that privatisation had “nothing to do” with the crash.

He claimed it was because the diggers had not been loaded correctly when they were put on to the train in Germany.

The accident – just after midnight on Wednesday morning – saw the line blocked at Charmant, near Angoulême in the Charente for 14 hours in both directions.

TGVs between Paris and Bordeaux, Hendaye and Toulouse were hit and the blockage hampered holiday plans for thousands heading for the south-west to enjoy the Ascension holiday weekend.

Photo: ECR

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