TGV derailed Paris - Strasburg (test train not in passenger service)

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33Hz

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Most of the train ended up in the field or canal. How on earth can it take 7 months to repair a bridge parapet?
 
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edwin_m

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Most of the train ended up in the field or canal. How on earth can it take 7 months to repair a bridge parapet?
Maybe more a case of having an enquiry to make sure something similar can't happen again, and putting together another test train to carry out whatever testing they didn't manage to complete. It may also be that they have to train up replacements for the casualties of the accident.
 

Murph

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Most of the train ended up in the field or canal. How on earth can it take 7 months to repair a bridge parapet?
It completely demolished / destroyed a significant chunk of bridge structure on the eastern abutment, basically a sizeable reinforced concrete parapet which looks like it was part of the abutment structure. Given the high energy involved, that may well have fractured more critical parts of the abutment.

From the look of things, the steel parapet of the main span is also a main longitudinal support beam. The northern steel parapet had 80–100 tonnes (I'm just guessing the weight here, rather than looking it up) of power car hitting it at approximately 240 kph (150 mph), with some major components of the power car (the rear bogie, in particular) basically being stopped dead by the end of the parapet, and others running along the top and inner side of it. I'm not certain, but it seems quite possible to me that there could have been significant structural damage to the main span/deck from this. It is quite safe to say the the entire bridge was subjected to significant forces, loads, and shock in ways that are well beyond its design. It was enough to more or less dismantle much of the power car behind the cab into component parts, and I assume that TGV power cars are reasonably robust, so it takes significant forces (provided by the bridge) to achieve that.

There was also a significant fire involving the bridge, fuelled by the transformer oil (this is a significant quantity of oil, if you are not familiar with large transformers, used to cool the transformer).

I've been unable to find the specifics of the repair effort, so much of this is speculation. I just would not be surprised if the entire deck needed replacement (or at least significant remedial work), and the abutment possibly needed major rebuilding effort. 7 months doesn't seem terribly surprising when looking at it in those terms.
 

NicholasNCE

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Indeed, in July the new line will be opening with single line working, unsure yet whether this will concern the whole "Phase 2" part of the line or just the final section from the last crossover.
The damaged track and bridge are currently sealed by court action and only once these seals are lifted will the estimated 7 month repair effort be able to begin.
 

MarkyT

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Indeed, in July the new line will be opening with single line working, unsure yet whether this will concern the whole "Phase 2" part of the line or just the final section from the last crossover.
The damaged track and bridge are currently sealed by court action and only once these seals are lifted will the estimated 7 month repair effort be able to begin.
Presumably from the last crossover, although I've no idea how far that is. It is also possible they may introduce an extra temporary crossover near the site if one doesn't exist to keep the single line as short as possible, otherwise capacity, as well as journey time, will suffer significantly. As well as requiring reconstruction of the damaged bridge the accident site remains 'sealed' by authorities for continued investigation according to the French article linked up-thread. They're very fortunate the two lines follow separate alignments through the area so single line working is possible.
 
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