Excessive speed caused high-speed train to derail in France: Rail operator

Emergency personnel working at an accident scene where a high-speed TGV train coach and engine carriage derailed, near Strasbourg, on Nov 15, 2015.
Emergency personnel working at an accident scene where a high-speed TGV train coach and engine carriage derailed, near Strasbourg, on Nov 15, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (Reuters) - The derailment of a high-speed French TGV train from Paris to Strasbourg in which 11 people were killed last Saturday (Nov 14) was caused by excessive speed on a bend in the route, railroad operator SNCF said on Thursday (Nov 19).

The train entered the bend at a speed of 265 kmh instead of 176 during a test drive and had started braking too late, Mr Christian Cochet, head of audit at SNCF, told a news conference.

"There was no other discernible cause," he said.

The train was undergoing a trial on a new high-speed line from Paris to Strasbourg set to open for regular service in April 2016. The train derailed in the village of Eckwersheim, just before the section where the new tracks would link up with the existing network.

The people on board the trial run had included staff from the SNCF railway and their family members and other guests.