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Federal railways boosts safety measures

Swiss Federal Railways announced changes in response to the collision in Granges-près-Marnand on July 30, 2013 Keystone

The Federal Railways has announced measures to increase safety at seven stations around the country, a month after two regional trains collided in western Switzerland, killing one driver and injuring 20 passengers.

A requirement that the dispatcher give the train permission to leave the station – known as the “four-eyes principle” – will be reintroduced in seven regional stations. The accident in Granges-près-Marnand, in western Switzerland, occurred because one of the drivers passed a red light.

In addition, personnel – such as engineers, conductors and dispatchers – will be invited to participate in internal quality control, the company announced on Friday.

The railways are also considering other medium- and long-term measures, such as accelerating plans to install equipment to monitor speed at 1,700 signals around the country.

Safety has become an issue for the federal railways over the past year, following a string of accidents and technical problems that have also caused massive commuter delays.

“Of course we systematically analyse every error and every accident,” said federal railways chairman Andreas Meyer.

“This is especially true for an accident like the one in Granges-près-Marnand. Given new information, we will take the necessary measures.”

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR