Louvain: the tracks re-entered into service - 27/02/2017

A passenger train derailed outside Louvain


(update: 27/02/2017)

Rail operations have been restored to Louvain

The repair works were completed nine days after the rail accident at Louvain, and rail operations were fully restored.

This morning, Monday 27 February, the tracks re-entered into service. Nine days ago, a passenger train derailed at Louvain.  One person lost their life, and 27 others were injured.

Last Tuesday, our teams started the repair works on the damaged infrastructure. In total, Infrabel laid 600 metres of track, new points and replaced the overhead infrastructure (poles and overhead lines). In-depth tests were conducted yesterday and operations were able to re-start this morning. There is just a minor speed limitation still imposed at the new points.

(update : 21/02/2017)

Once the cars were evacuated, our team was able to assess the damage in detail. And it was considerable. The tracks, overhead lines (contact wires, poles) and cables (for the power supply, signalling and telephone communications) had to be repaired over a distance of 300 metres. In addition, several TBL1+ beacons and two points were damaged and had to be fully or partially repaired. The signals and signalling boxes also had to undergo in-depth tests to ensure they were functioning correctly.

This morning, Infrabel received authorisation from the investigators to launch the repair works. Today, the Infrabel teams are going to start lifting the damaged tracks and rail infrastructure and the colleagues are also going to conduct the first cabling works. They are also in full swing to clean up the site. In the upcoming days, our teams will lay two new tracks, new points and poles for the overhead lines, roll out the overhead lines and weld the tracks. Finally, the infrastructure will be thoroughly tested and if this test is positive, the rail traffic can recommence in the zone affected by the accident.

Everything should be restored by 27 February, and the train service will then be able to recommence according to the standard timetable. Until then, the train service will be adapted.

The public prosecutor's enquiry was conducted throughout this period and Infrabel and the SNCB collaborated in full.

A book of condolence for the deceased victim will be available in the ticket hall of Louvain station until Thursday.

(update: 20/02/2017)

For the moment, the Infrabel teams are assessing the damage to the overhead lines, the tracks and the signals, with a view to defining a schedule for intervention. On Sunday morning, Infrabel had already launched the repair works for the overhead lines in the area not affected by the enquiry. As soon as authorisation is received from the public prosecutor, the technical teams will be able to start their various works (tracks and signalling) The restoration works may last until the end of the week. The public prosecutor's enquiry continues, in collaboration with Infrabel and the SNCB.