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In the foreground are system malfunctions
  • 01 May 2023
  • timeliness


The Ministry of Infrastructure has published the Conclusion of the Committee of Experts established to investigate and highlight the systemic problems and malfunctions regarding the railway accident with fire, which took place on 02-28-2023 at the entrance to the Tempe Valley.

As pointed out, the conclusion does not deal with attribution or apportionment of responsibilities, a competence which, according to the Constitution and the law, belongs only to the competent judicial authorities.

Through the collection of data from the critical - in the opinion of the Commission - bodies and their executives and their evaluation based on the rules of logic and science, the Conclusion attempts, in the first stage, to describe in detail the current management system of train traffic especially on the section of the line from Paleofarsalos to Larissa and from Larissa to N. Poros, in a second stage to record the accident in detail, in a third stage to investigate and highlight the systemic problems, pathogens and malfunctions that led to the Tempe accident and, in a fourth stage, to propose a set of immediate, short-term and medium-long-term solutions to the issues of the safe and orderly operation of rail transport in Greece.

On the occasion of the publication of the finding, government sources claim that it is a finding of real recording and not a finding of cover-up. It follows that the stationmaster and train drivers did not follow the regulations.

In any case, the same sources say, the conclusion analyzes, not judges, as the attribution of responsibilities will be made by justice.

The malfunctions

In the report, among other things, it is recorded that the following malfunctions were found on the day of the accident:

The electrification was not working on the section Paleofarsalos - Larisa on the ascending line. The period of non-operation was from 15:52 on 28-2-2023 to 01:05 on 1-3-2023.

There was a traffic stop on the uphill line in the Larissa-Litochoro section. The period of non-operation was from 19:21 to 21:38 on 28-2-2023.

The exit traffic light of the Larissa station on line 2 is permanently red due to non-functioning, as mentioned above, of the electrical lateral signaling. This malfunction is known to the station masters and they notify the train drivers about it.

The handling of change 101 (diagonal arrangement), located at the entrance of Larissa station when traveling from Paleofarsalo, due to a technical problem cannot be done electronically from the button of the change control panel but only on site by the key with the control rod.

As mentioned above, on the day of the on-site visit of the Committee of Experts, to the Larissa station and review of the remote control panel of changes (20-3-2023), it was found that it was not possible to monitor the course of the train in the 1,200-meter section EA2. This fact limits the length and, by extension, the time that would be perceived by the stationmaster of a train moving from Larissa to N. Poros via the descending line (in this case the IC 62 train). The Commission does not know if this malfunction also existed on the day of the accident (2-28-2023).

The occupation of a line circuit by a train and the movement of the train in general could be displayed in a more comprehensible way (eg continuous display). Two lights of the control panel were out of order on the day of the on-site visit of the Committee of Experts to the Larissa station (20-03-2023), without, however, losing the visual supervision of the movement of the trains on the panel.

There was a failure in the protection system of the Level Railway Crossing (ISD) at the Karagatsi position (non-operation of the track-occupying wheel contact). Based on the voice recordings, the station master had to be contacted by phone with this issue as well.

The fatal station master

Additionally, in the conclusion it is pointed out that the fatal station master should not have taken up work as "the Tripartite Assessment Body of the reassignment application should have rejected it due to the lack of the additional required qualification, i.e. not exceeding 48 years of age and not providing the agreement his opinion".


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