Derailment of Famous Montenvers Train, Chamonix, France Blamed on Human Error

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Human error is to blame. Credit: La Place du Village

On Sunday the famous Montenvers train that leaves from Chamonix center and heads up the icy Mer De Glace derailed. Fortunately, no one was hurt and a backup train arrived to take the passengers back down to the valley floor. After an investigation, officials are claiming there was no technical issue with the train and the derailment is likely as a result of ‘human error’.

The train has derailed a handful of times over the last five years but with a top speed of only 9 mph, it’s generally more frustrating than life-threatening. 

Deraillement of the train of the montenvers: a human mistake…

Still no small train for the sea of ice in Chamonix (Haute Savoie-France). The site of the montenvers will remain closed this Wednesday, August 14th

It is a human error that is the origin of the small train du montenvers train in chamonix this Sunday, August 11, 2019. the thesis of the technical incident is definitely excluded. Repairs are in progress. The site will remain closed tomorrow Wednesday.

In A Press Release published on Tuesday, August 13, the Mont-Blanc company, which manages the tourist attraction, is formal: “no technical failure has been found” after the accident that caused the partial derailment of the small motor Train Sunday afternoon. The accident would therefore be ” officially ” due to ” a human error ” that did not make any injured, but a big fear for the passengers

The driver of the motor driver still needs to be heard but already, an “excessive speed” at the switch level has been raised, explains Mathieu Dechavanne, CEO of the Mont-Bench company. As a result, the passage of the switch was not carried out under the conditions planned and the motor is out of its way.

This Tuesday, repairs were still in progress. The motor has been repaired and evacuated to the depot and would not be too damaged. The Rail and the switch on the scene of the accident have also been the subject of repairs and controls.

The opening is now subject to the green light of the department’s office of lifts (Ifn). To Strengthen Safety, the Mont-Blanc company could add an operator to the switch which would ensure that the procedure was well respected before the train was passed.

Info: France 3 Auvergne Rhône-Alpes

The famous Montenvers Railway or Chemin de fer du Montenvers is a rack railway line in the Haute-Savoie region of France. The line runs from a connection with the SNCF, in Chamonix, to the Hotel de Montenvers station, at the Mer de Glace, at an altitude of 6,276 ft.

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2 thoughts on “Derailment of Famous Montenvers Train, Chamonix, France Blamed on Human Error

  1. 11 August montenvers train derailed

    My family and I were passengers on the train that got derailed on Sunday. This has been a very disturbing experience for us and has taken me time to accept something like this can actually happen in a well developed place like Chamonix, especially as this is not my first visit.

    Unfortunately I am seeing only news about the technicalities of the incident and why it may have happened, but nobody has assumed responsibility of checking on the safety of the passengers after the incident happened.

    There were elderly and children on that train. My family and I were in the same cabin of the train’s conductor. As we held on tight to our children when our cabin tilted over, all of us were screaming and everyone ran to exit the door. My 7 year old was held by his grandfather and they ran out of the train from the door. He was crying like many of the other children. Unfortunately my husband and I were in the back of the train. We had to give our 3 year old child to someone from the window, and then both he and I jumped out of the window as quickly as possible, suffering minor scratches and bruises. I have never been as scared.

    The train conductor told us to walk back down to Chamonix. We did not know a train was going to come so along with other passengers, we walked back to Chamonix – not an easy experience for children and elderly. But what shocked us the most was the fact that not a single staff member or an ambulance or rescue team or any first responder was there to receive the passengers! I just couldn’t believe this would happen in a well respected place like Chamonix! That is a bigger human error

    1. Wow, it sounds like a traumatic experience. Thank you for sharing your side. As you said, I have seen no consideration from news outlets for the passengers on that train. I hope you and your family are ok and are able to put it behind you.

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