Trains expected to run by Sunday
Update 24 July 16:40 Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch.com) – The Glacier Express train crash that killed one person and injured 42 others Friday 23 July in the Goms Valley could have been due to technical problems, possibly linked to warm weather, say officials of the company that owns it, MGB.
One hypothesis is that the rails may have been deformed by dramatic shifts in the weather in the hours preceding the crash. After days of very hot dry weather the temperature suddenly dropped several degrees and heavy showers fell along the Alpine ridges in the area. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the crash, which occurred at noon Friday 23 July. A 64-year-old Japanese man from Osaka has been identified as the one person who died, but two women, both Japanese, remain in critical condition. Among the 42 injured, most were Japanese, but the group includes five Swiss, four Spanish, two Austrian and one Indian traveller.
The trains are likely to be running again Sunday, once the derailed train is placed back on the track and removed, and the line checked, according to the company. It said Friday evening trains on the line could be operating by Saturday but work has taken longer than expected. The cars involved in the crash are being set aside for investigators.
The Glacier Express carries some 250,000 people a year. It went into operation in 1930 and this is its first accident. The train has an average speed of 30kph, earning it the nickname of the “slowest train in the world.”
It runs on a single track and between Zermatt and St Moritz it goes through 91 tunnels and crosses 291 bridges, covering some of Switzerland’s most spectacular Alpine scenery in the process, making it a hugely popular tourist attraction.