How a whale saved an entire train in the Netherlands

International train disaster expert Gary Wolff told the media that in his 45 years of career and investigation of more than 4, 000 incidents, he has never seen anything like what happened at De Akkers station near Rotterdam on November 1, 2020. The subway train somehow jumped over the bump stop, flew out of the roadbed, as a result of which its last carriage hung, but did not fall. He lay down on a decorative statue in the form of a whale's tail, which seemed to be deliberately placed under him.

The first oddity that Wolf points out is a complete lack of ideas on how the train was able to overcome the bump stop. This structure is specially designed to stop trains. If the train accelerated strongly, the last carriage flew 15-20 m, demolished the statue and fell from a 10-meter height.

But instead, we see that the train was moving slowly, the last carriage actually crawled out, and its end lay neatly on the statue. It is made of polyester, although reinforced, but its structure is hollow inside. It cannot withstand 20-30 tons of the weight of the car, but it does not hold it either - the car did not overturn due to the rigid coupling with the previous car. This is clearly seen from its horizontal position, because if there were no coupling, the car would hang down under the influence of gravity. The tail of the statue serves as a symbolic support, nothing more.

It turned out to be a great success that this is the terminal station and there were no people in the carriage. Only a couple of dozen people would create a load of several tons, which could crush the tail, and then the consequences of the incident would be much more sad. But all this pales before the main problem - the overpass with the train is surrounded by a reservoir, there is no place where you can fit a 100-ton crane in order to gently lift the car. Now the Dutch engineers will have to puzzle over how to get it out of there.