Head on collision in Warsaw


Polish rail

The crash scene. Local PKP PLK director, Jan Telecki, describes the movements of the two trains immediately before the accident. Video by .

A head-on collision between two early morning commuter trains in Warsaw on Thursday morning (24 May) brought back memories of the head-on train collision near Szczekociny – Poland’s worst train crash in 22 years – which killed 16 people and wounded 57. This time, the relative velocity of the two trains was small and the lead coaches only suffered minor damage. Two people were injured; one sufficiently seriously to need hospital treatment.

The accident occurred at 05:45 in the vicinity of Warszawa Praga station. The trains involved were KM 1521 – an EN76 trainset belonging to Koleje Mazowieckie running from Warszawa Gdanska to Ciechanow, and SKW 40222 – a 19WE trainset belonging to Szybka Kolej Miejska running from Legionowo to Warszawa Gdanska.

According to The Warsaw Voice, a report published by the European Railway Agency, shows that Poland’s railways have the worst safety record* in the EU. There were 449 rail accidents in Poland in 2010. Germany was second with 297 accidents followed by Romania with 271.


2 Responses to “Head on collision in Warsaw”

  1. Mike Says:

    I don’t think it’s entirely right to say “Poland’s railways have the worst safety record in the EU.” Certainly in 2010 Poland saw 449 rail accidents, compared to only 31 in Estonia. However, Estonia has only 900km of working rail compared to 20,000km in Poland, so it’s not really a fair comparison.

    I went to the PDF in the post and did some sums on the raw numbers. In terms of 2010 accidents per million train-km, Poland managed 2.05 compared to 3.44 in Estonia. Thus Estonia has more crashes per train-km than Poland. On the other hand, Germany only has 0.29 crashes per million train-km, so there’s a long way to go. Overall, Poland has the 7th highest number of crashes in the EU, according to the numbers in the report. For those who like charts, I uploaded one here: http://i.imgur.com/sgL7p.gif

    This is similar to the charts on pages 26 and 27 of the report which show Poland as being worse than EU average for rail safety, but certainly not the worst. If you don’t want to open the PDF, their summary sentence is “The results show acceptable railway safety performance in the six risk categories in all countries except Romania, Lithuania and Slovakia.”.

    Thanks again for an excellent blog.

  2. Mike Says:

    Another video can be found here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4a2_1338035325

    I particularly like 0:04 when the presenter talks about ‘moment katastrofy’ – Poles do love talking up their disasters!

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