Danish ban on pocketwagons lifted for some companies
The Danish Transport Authority has granted railway companies Hector Rail and CFL Cargo permission to resume the use of semi-trailers loaded on pocketwagons. It received the necessary documentation ensuring that the locking mechanism is secured, the authority explained.
On 8 January 2019 the Danish Transport Ministry (DtM) banned the circulation of pocket wagons on the Danish railway network. This was in response to the tragic accident on 2 January, where parts of a semi-trailer train came off and hit a bypassing passenger train, resulting in eight fatalities. The safe use of pocketwagons is currently not guaranteed, concluded the DtM.
Nevertheless, the ban can be lifted if the single railway undertaking submits documentation that proves the correct fixing of the kingpin of the semi-trailers into the supporting bock of the pocket wagon.
“The Board notes with satisfaction that it is possible to check whether the locking mechanism works as intended, that the method for this is possible to carry out and finally that the guidance for doing this is well illustrated and understandable”, the government body noted.
Because it has become clear that weather conditions played a role in the accident, it also requires that BaneDanmark and the railway companies ensure that all freight transport on the Great Belt Bridge takes place under stricter conditions with respect to freight trains’ speed with heavy wind conditions.
“The tightened conditions with regard to the speed of freight trains in relation to the wind conditions remain in place”, the authority said.