May 04, 2020 05:44 PM

Nature, Faulty Maintenance Blamed for Two Recent Train Derailments

What’s new: Two separate investigations have determined that a train derailment that resulted in one fatality in March was the result of forces of nature, while another two weeks later was the result of faulty maintenance.

The March 30 derailment of train T179 in Central China’s Hunan province, which left one dead and 127 injured, was caused by a landslide onto the tracks after days of heavy rain, the Guangzhou rail authority said in results of an investigation posted on Thursday.

Another derailment of train K7384 on April 12 in Northeast China’s Liaoning province, which didn’t result in any casualties, was caused by an expansion of the rail due to temperature changes, and should have been noticed in advance as part of routine maintenance, an investigation found.

Why it matters: Rail is one of the most common forms of travel in China, and thus public confidence in the network’s reliability and safety are critical for effective operation.

Chinese made 3.57 billion rail passenger trips last year, up 7.7% from 2018, according to the official China Daily, citing data from China State Railway Group Co. Ltd.

Of those trips, nearly two-thirds were on a national state-of-the-art high-speed rail system that has cost hundreds of billions of dollars to build over the last decade.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

Related: Passenger Train Derails in Hunan, Killing One and Injuring 127

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