Crash test - June 2018

In spite of awareness-raising campaigns and actions, the number of accidents at level crossings has not fallen. In 2017, there were 51 accidents and 9 fatalities. For the first time ever, a "crash test" was carried out for both scientific and educational purposes.

The results are striking: nobody would have survived this accident, even though it happened at low speed. An experience that reminds everyone of the importance of respecting level crossing signs.

An “exceptional” campaign

A vehicle gets stuck on a level crossing as a train approaches. The conditions are real, just as they happen every week!

Dozens of cameras are set up to film the crash from every angle. The objective: conducting a broad campaign, in which every professional from the various fields involved (Vias Institute, the firefighters, railway police, Securail (SNCB) and Infrabel) addresses the same topic from a different angle but reaches the same conclusion. A unique awareness-raising campaign, carried out in close cooperation with all those involved.

This world first has allowed Vias Institute to take measures on the vehicle during the accident, the Mons firefighters to free the 3 “victims”, the federal railway police to train young recruits in accidents involving a motor vehicle, and Infrabel to work on the repair of the railway infrastructure.

> More information about this crash test in our press release

A “crash test” carried out in complete safety

The vehicle is gets stuck on the level crossing. A “ramming locomotive” with no driver is pushed by another locomotive. The latter brakes, leaving the “ram” hitting the stationary vehicle on the level crossing at a speed of 75 km/hr. To stop the “ramming locomotive”, no fewer than 9 different safety devices were provided, each successfully tested 5 times. The first device did its job and the train stopped perfectly safely 150 metres after the collision.

This exercise was carried out in full compliance with Infrabel’s first priority: safety! The track was closed, the area secured over a distance of almost 2 km, the railway police and Securail mounted a guard at the level crossings, both upstream and downstream, and the local police attended the site. Drones were also used to carry out reconnaissance before the operation was launched to ensure that no onlookers were present in the operational area. And the Infrabel teams attended the only local resident on the train’s route. No inconvenience was caused to travellers either, since there is no traffic on that line during the weekend.

Short version of our awareness video

Discover below the short version of our awareness video, which was used on our social media channels.