Train derailment blocks traffic in La Spezia port
On Friday 22 July a freight train derailed inside the La Spezia port in North-Western Italy. The accident happened around La Spezia Marittima station, near Viale San Bartolomeo.
Train traffic was halted for several hours because the derailed train blocked the Molo Fornelli entrance. The wagons were attached to a new locomotive to partially restore traffic, while the derailed locomotive was put back on the track later in the evening with the help of a rescue wagon.
The dynamic of the accident
The accident likely happened because intense heat deformed the rails on which the train was traveling. The accident occurred on a switch, where the tolerance for metal dilation is lower. The train was moving at a reduced speed, and the accident did not cause any wounded and no other wagons or trains were involved.
Port Authority will lead investigations on the accident in La Spezia as well as a team from Rete Ferroviaria Italia of FS Group. The rail deformation is most likely what caused the accident, but the authorities are not ruling out any other possibilities. Among other possible causes considered, there is also maneuver error or the breaking of a junction because of the heat.
Port of La Spezia
The port of La Spezia, located in the Liguria region, is the second container handling Italian port, after the nearby port of Genova. It serves as a connection to the North Italian intermodal hub and reaches important European destinations as well. Over 30 per cent of its container traffic is done via rail.