Viareggia disaster


Press Release adds to the confusion

Video by rabendeviaregia

PKP CARGO press release

Explosion of a railway

tank wagon in Italy

Further to information published by the Italian media, that the supposed cause of the explosion in a train of LPG wagons on 30 June in Viareggio in Italy was a fault in a Polish tank wagon, PKP CARGO wishes to explain:

1. The tank wagon which was at the head of the train and which is alleged to have originated in Poland belongs to a private foreign company.

2. In November 2003, shortly after the wagon was received from its manufacturers, the wagon was taken into PKP stock and marked accordingly at the express request of the owner as PKP were at the time the only entity dispatching goods wagons on international journeys on the territory of Poland.

3. The tank wagon under discussion left Poland in December 2003 and since then has worked exclusively overseas.

In the light of the disaster PKP CARGO extends its deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who tragically perished as a result of the explosion.

Further information:
Jacek Wnukowski
Press Spokesman PKP CARGO S.A.
tel. 22 47 42 703
e-mail: r.wnukowski@pkp-cargo.p

Translation of Polish original by BTWT. Are you any clearer who was responsible for operating and maintaining the wagon? Neither are we.


4 Responses to “Viareggia disaster”

  1. Gavin Whitelaw Says:

    Clear as mud!

    It appears to be a wagon owned by a private foreign company, but badged up as PKP stock that has worked outside Poland for nearly 6 years without returning to Poland.

    The maintenance records for this wagon (and obviously it is not the only one) will make very interesting reading.

    When was the last brake test/axle ultrasonic test/running gear exam carried out and by whom? Obviously it must be an approved contractor on behalf of PKP as they are the running owners on behalf of this “mysterious” private foreign company.

    If the investigating authorities are as thorough in Italy as the RAIB are here then obfuscation like this will not really cover @rses in Poland if it was one of their wagons (or one puportedly contracted to them by this unknown company) that was at fault.

    This is the sort of bland statement that would perhaps work internally in a communist state, (and seems to have that sort of ring about it) but in an international incident with deaths of innocent victims involved is crass and insensitive to say the least.

    I think that the report will make interesting reading!

    BTW is there any way of getting information on Polish accidents in a way similar to the British “Blue” accident reports or is it all a bit too secretive?

  2. Andrew Says:

    It appears to have been a GATX wagon:

    Statement: tank rail car accident Viareggio

    GATX Rail Europe is deeply saddened by the tragic derailment that occurred in Viareggio. GATX Rail Europe is cooperating with the appropriate authorities and at this time, full details regarding the cause of the derailment are not yet known.

    About GATX:

    GATX Rail Europe is an affiliate of U.S.-based GATX Corporation. GATX Rail Europe leases tank rail cars to customers who transport liquid mineral oil products and a variety of other commodities.

  3. Gavin Whitelaw Says:


    So it is a wagon leased to a “customer” who has then contracted it to PKP. Seems GATX are washing hands here……

  4. John Hyde Says:

    It seems to call into question ownership / responsibility / maintenance regimes employed in Europe for international use of stock, maybe the EU should look to the aviation industry for guidance on maintenance standards of machinery deployed without ever returning “home”.

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