Earth crumbles under Danish rail track with passengers on board train

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Earth crumbles under Danish rail track with passengers on board train
Rain washed away a section of supporting earth under a local rail line in Denmark. No passengers were reported injured. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish transport company Arriva has said it will offer counselling to any passengers who may be affected after a train appeared to narrowly avert a serious incident.


Passengers were aboard a local service between Jutland towns Skjern and Herning on Friday when the train crossed a section of track which began to slide after an earth construction underneath it became unstable.

The passengers are reported to have felt a violent shake on the train, although the earth did not crumble away immediately.

No injuries were initially reported but Arriva recorded contact details of passengers on board the service.


Images from the location the following day showed the tracks fully exposed and appearing to hang in mid-air after the construction washed away completely in wet weather.

This was not the situation when the train crossed the section, but the earth appears to have been unstable enough for a movement of the rails to be felt.

“We have a train which drove across a place where embankments and foundations to the tracks were becoming washed away by rain from a downpour in the area,” Arriva’s head of security Erik Vestergaard Møller told news wire Ritzau.

The company’s customer service department will “contact the passengers to generally hear how they experienced things and whether they need to talk about things,” Møller said.

Arriva will offer counselling to affected passengers if this is seen to be necessary, he also said.

Prior to the train in question, another train, travelling in the opposite direction, reported surface flooding on surrounding fields to Banedanmark, the national company which manages and maintains the country’s rail tracks. But the first train did not experience an issue with the track itself.

The driver of the following train was alerted and asked to reduce speed in the area. It was at this point that the earth began to slide, according to Møller.

The section will be closed for at least two weeks for repairs.


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