World first: what happens when you're hit by a train?

Last year 16 people died after ignoring the signals at rail level crossings or venturing onto a rail line where this is not permitted.  To raise public awareness about this phenomenon the rail track operator Infrabel and the safety institute VIAS are launching a joint campaign that includes a nasty video showing what happens to a car when a train crashes into it. The video is a world first.

A father and his two children are driving to a party.  In a hurry the father ignores a red stop light and the lowered barriers at a rail level crossing.  The train driver sees what is about to happen and slams the emergency breaks, but too late.  The train rams into the car smashing it to smithereens.  Dad and his two toddlers are dead at the scene.

Crash Test

What is described above really happened but in a simulation using dolls. "The crash test is a world first" explains Frédéric Petit of Infrabel.  We wanted to establish in a scientific way what happens when a train ploughs into a car at a speed of 75km/h.  Drones, cameras and sensors were all employed to create this result."

Sensors reveal a gigantic impact on the car during the first seconds.  The car is shaken in all directions: the people in the car are hit by a force that is far greater than the weight of their bodies, around 4,200 kilos.

Frédéric Petit: "Sadly we noticed a rise in the number of deaths on level crossings last year: nine people died at level crossings, seven as a result of straying onto the rails.  We hope this campaign will convince people of the consequences of their reckless behaviour."

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