The Wetteren derailment, 4th May 2013

On Saturday 4th May 2013, a Kijfhoek to Gent Zeehaven tank train hauled by DB Cargo Dutch class 6400 diesels 6506 and 6519 derailed at Schellebelle, Wetteren, near to its destination.


6506 at Dorinne/Durnal on the Chemin de Fer du Bocq, 12/08/17 (JW)

Single line working had been in place, and the train took the crossover back to the correct line at too high a speed; the locos remained on the rails and did not suffer damage, but the loaded wagons derailed. Three of the wagons caught fire, a fire which burned for quite some time.

Although there were no direct victims of the accident, the toxic gases released as a result of it ran off into sewer systems and caused significant health problems for local residents – including tragically killing a man and his dog who actually lived hundreds of metres away from the accident site – and over 100 were hospitalised.  More than 2,000 people were evacuated from their homes for up to three weeks.

The above is a link to a news video uploaded to YouTube by VTM in which the inferno resulting from the derailment can be appreciated – and the pair of 6400s can briefly be seen.

The locos returned to service in the Autumn, and remain in use with DB Cargo today.

Future 6400 haulage

Opportunities to ride behind 6400s are rare, but negotiations are underway to provide at least one member of the class to haul trains at the “Festival” at the Chemin de Fer du Bocq on 11th and 12th August 2018.

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