QCOSTARICA – It was inevitable. It was never a question of if they will crash into the new trains, but when. The latest, the third in the first three months of the new trains going into operation, occurred on Wednesday, in Heredia.
The emergency was reported at 6:17 am, according to data from the Bomberos (Fire Department), which dispatched two units, when a pick-up vehicle crashed with one of the trains.
As a result of the impact, which occurred 100 meters east of the Heredia railway station, the passengers of the pick-up were assessed by paramedics. Two of the people in the pick-up were taken to the local medical center for further assessment, first responders said.
On the other hand, the 90 people who were traveling on the train were evacuated, none reporting any physical injuries.
The impacted train, as usual, will be inspected to determine if it presents any significant damage; however, the initial report indicates only scratches.
The incident led to the cancellation of at least three train runs, while others experienced delays, reported the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) – national railway.
Three crashes in three months
Since the new trains came into operation at the end of April this year, there have been three crashes involving these units: the first in Cartago, another in San José and this Wednesday in Heredia.
Repairs to two of those incidents have already cost the Incofer S$30,000 dollars.
Despite multiple campaigns and measures used by Incofer and transit authorities and various NGO groups to avoid accidents between vehicles and trains, some drivers continue to disrespect signals or feel they can outrun an oncoming train.
In all cases, trains have the right of way. Drivers are asked to heed to signals and slow down at train crossings.
To be fair, it is not always the negligence or imprudence of drivers, bad design and signalization many times play an important role in the mishaps.