November 19, 2015 / 12:11 PM / in 3 years

Excessive speed caused French high-speed train derailment: SNCF

PARIS (Reuters) - The derailment of a high-speed French TGV train from Paris to Strasbourg in which 11 people were killed on Saturday was caused by excessive speed on a bend in the route, railroad operator SNCF said on Thursday.

French gendarmes, fire brigade and investigators work at the scene of the wreckage of a test TGV train that derailed and crashed, killing at least ten people on Saturday, in a canal outside Eckwersheim near Strasbourg, eastern France, November 15, 2015. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

The train entered the bend at a speed of 265 km/hour instead of 176 during a test drive and had started braking too late, Christian Cochet, head of audit at SNCF, told a news conference.

“There was no other discernible cause,” he said.

The train was undergoing a trial on a new high-speed line from Paris to Strasbourg set to open for regular service in April 2016. The train derailed in the village of Eckwersheim, just before the section where the new tracks would link up with the existing network.

The people on board the trial run had included staff from the SNCF railway and their family members and other guests.

Reporting by Gilbert Reilhac; Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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