Railway boss defends record after fatal accident

Meyer has been CEO of Swiss Federal Railways for 13 years. © Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

The head of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has hit back at a growing number of critics following the death of a conductor on a faulty train. “This is not my first crisis,” Andreas Meyer said in a newspaper interview. “I may not be new, but I am still fresh.”

This content was published on August 18, 2019 - 12:39
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SBB CEO Meyer has been under fire following the fatal accident on August 4 that saw the conductor trapped by a door and dragged along a platform by a train. Since then, some 20 faulty doors have been identified amid tests on thousands, he told SonntagsBlick on Sunday.

This number has risen from the five defective doors reported earlier this week when the investigation was less advanced. Safety inspectors found that the anti-trap system of the train door involved in the accident was not functional at the time.

While 493 trains of the type involved in the accident are still in operation, Meyer stressed that safety remains a top priority, saying that rail transport remains the safest way to travel in Switzerland. He paid tribute to the deceased staff member as a “very reliable and esteemed colleague”.

He added that: “I will master this demanding situation along with my team.”

Next month, SBB executives will report to parliament’s transport commission. It is likely to be a tough meeting, according to several media, who have quoted politicians raising concerns about delays, cancellations and the breakdown of trains in addition to the accident.

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