© Vladimir Serebryanskiy

Maersk has reported “substantial delays” on rail, following an accident in Czech Republic on Wednesday, when a passenger train collided with a freight train, claiming four lives.

The freight train, on route from Bratislava to Bremerhaven, was carrying Maersk cargo. Maersk said that train operations between Kostěnice and Pardubice had been suspended.

It advised: “The repair of the junction will require several days, and alternative routes outside Pardubice are currently not feasible due to continuous disruptions, as reported by the central dispatcher of the Czech Railways (SŽ).”

It added: “Connecting trains to and from Brno and Paskov are also affected, and customers are asked to please follow e-maersk.eu for the latest train status updates.” It said it was assessing any damage to containers.

Maersk had several trains on the route at the time:

BABBRV240605 – involved in the accident, stopped as investigation takes place;
BUDBRV240605 – train stopped in Kuty, further departure under consideration;
BRVBUD240603 – train diverted via Dresden, heavy delays expected;
MZKBAB240606 – pending information from service provider.

Czech media reported that the collision happened when the passenger train failed to stop at a red light. However, according to Idnes.cz (via Google Translate): “The condition of the track and especially the security equipment in the section of the railway junction under construction did not make the driver’s job any easier. The new European security device still does not work in the section, and the original line security device was already cancelled in view of the new system on the route.”

David Philipp, from the CityRail company, told Zdopravy.cz: “The missing safety device would not necessarily have prevented the accident, but it would have significantly reduced the risk of it occurring.”

Four people died in the accident, and up to 30 were injured.

Maersk said: “We are deeply concerned by this incident and are closely monitoring it. Our thoughts remain with all involved with the tragic accident. Our teams continue to remain in close contact with local officials to keep customers updated with new information as it becomes available.”

None if its staff was onboard the train.

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