Accident involving a train and a lorry


The accident involved a lorry, consisting of a tractor unit and a container semi-trailer, and a freight train. It occurred at a level crossing at the intersection of a B road and a two-way railway track.

The lorry crossed the level crossing as the train approached. The freight train collided with the lorry’s cab. The accident took place at night in the countryside, and in adverse weather conditions.

The human toll was limited, but physical damages were significant. The engine, about twenty wagons, the tractor unit and its merchandise were destroyed. The railway infrastructure was seriously damaged by the train derailment, causing service to be interrupted for 31 days.


GM Consultant loss adjusters arrived the day after the accident, appointed by the insurer that provided coverage for the lorry.

Our technical measures were carried out in several phases:

  • Initial observations made the day after the accident
  • Project team set up involving experts from every field necessary to properly investigate the case (railways, mechanical, legal, financial, etc.)
  • Performed a contextual analysis of the incident and proposed a management strategy to the company
  • Organised several technical damage survey meetings with the identified parties to determine the causes and circumstances of the accident and to assess the amount of damages:
  • In situ examination before removal of lorry and train
  • Interview of lorry driver and analysis of on-board recorder
  • In situ examination after recommissioning of railways
  • Joint examination of the lorry in its storage area