The derailment occurred as the 17.14 Paris Austerlitz – Limoges with 385 passengers on board approached Brétigny-sur-Orge at 137km/h, below the 150km/h limit for that section of track. The rear part of the train derailed, mounted the platform and came to rest on parallel tracks.

SNCF says the detached fishplate was discovered in a switch 200m north of the station. Damage to the rear wheelset (see photo) of the third coach of the train appears to confirm the hypothesis that the fishplate caused the rear part of the train to derail.

Examination of the locomotive and the derailed coaches did not find any mechanical abnormalities, and the coaches were last maintained on June 29. Similarly no mechanical defects were discovered on the two trains which passed through Brétigny-sur-Orge ahead of the derailed train.

SNCF has launched a national inspection of around 5000 switches to be conducted over the next two weeks. These include double diamond crossings with slip points, single diamond crossings with slips, and diamond crossings.

President François Hollande has ordered three enquiries into the accident: one by the Ministry of Justice, one by SNCF, and the third by the Ministry of Transport.

bretigny fisplate

bretigny wheelset