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DB cargo is using its pocketwagons in Denmark again. However, the Carlsberg train involved in the deadly accident is still running with swap bodies. The company is not ready yet to resume operations with trailers and pocketwagons for this particular service.
The company made these remarks to RailFreight.com today. On 2 January the rail freight operator was involved in a fatal accident, where parts of a semi-trailer train came off and hit a bypassing passenger train. The accident resulted in eight deaths and was the most serious rail accident in Denmark since 1988. Another sixteen people were injured.
On 8 January the Danish Transport Ministry (DtM) banned the circulation of pocket wagons on the Danish railway network. This ban can be lifted if a railway undertaking submits documentation that proves the correct fixing of the kingpin of the semi-trailers into the supporting bock of the pocket wagon.
This was true for DB Cargo on 17 January. “DB Cargo Scandinavia may resume the transport of semi-trailers loaded on pocket cars through Denmark”, said Trafikstyrelsen, the regulatory body of the country. The decision was taken when the operator complied with the four conditions set; it guaranteed the safe locking of the pin, a control method of this locking, expertise of the people involved and inclusion of this control mechanism in the management of the company.
Yes, the DtM has lifted the ban and DB Cargo Scandinavia is using the combination of pocket wagons and truck trailers again, the company commented. However, the train involved in the accident is not there yet, it added. “We are still in an internal process regarding the train and we will start operations of pocketwagons and trailers again when we are ready”, a spokesperson said.
“The vehicle type we are driving now has four locking points. It is not the same vehicle type as the one involved in the accident”, said another spokesperson to BT, a Danish media source last week.
Cause of accident
“We believe that safety is extremely important and DB Cargo is always fully cooperating with authorities and complying with regulations”, the company commented. The causes of the accident are currently still being examined by the Accident Investigation Board Denmark.
The operator carries beer boxes over the Great Belt Bridge thirty times per week for its customer Carlsberg. There has never been an indication that the freight train is not safe, the company mentioned earlier. Pocketwagons are used by many operators in many countries. The ban is currently only applicable in Denmark.
This article first appeared on www.railfreight.com
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