Seen for sentencing the largest rail accident: "Spain did not follow the regulations"

by archynewsycom
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Ten years and three days after an Alvia derailed outside of Santiago de Compostela leaving 80 dead and 144 injured, the judge Elena Fernández Currás He will leave the case for the accident to be judged today. It will put an end to ten months of trial and purify responsibilities for an accident that, regardless of the ruling, has already served to turn rail safety in Spain upside down, putting it on the radar of the European authorities, who are keeping an infringement procedure open against Spain for considering that “it does not meet the requirements of EU legislation on railway safety”.

The procedure does not analyze any specific accident, but it did come to Europe as a result of this accident. Among other issues, the European Comission investigate whether it performs the “appropriate risk assessments” before the lines are put into service.

Former head of security at the European Railway Agency (ERA), Christopher Carr, made clear in the trial the technical and regulatory obligation to assess and mitigate the risk once the initial construction project for the line was changed. It was equipped with the European rail traffic management system (ERTMS), a security system that manages traffic above 200 km/h, but it was changed and disconnected from the line eight kilometers from Santiago and, later, also from the train because it caused delays.

“In this case, with a very tight curve, there may be a risk of speeding, and it must be mitigated,” insisted Carr, “you cannot leave a catastrophic risk in the hands of the driver, because he can make a mistake.” And this accident has managed to focus on that, on the security holes that are generated by not analyzing the risks and leaving a high-speed line equipped with a driving support system such as the ASFA Digital, which he qualifies as “class B systems”. “The fact that they are included in the ETI does not mean that they are accepted”, since they are not safety or speed supervision systems, he added.

Jose Carlos Fernandeztechnical engineer of Public Works, insists on THE WORLD, before the end of the trial, in which “Spain did not follow the regulations” and also goes as far as to ensure that “after Angrois, no high-speed line has been inaugurated again without an ERTMS system” or, at least, without an evaluation prior risk. In addition, at the end of August, a decade later, the ERTMS will be fully implemented in the remaining eight kilometres. “Adif took ten years to finish what they had left undone when the line was inaugurated. That is unfortunately the reality. If they had done it at that time, the accident would not have occurred.”

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