French president pledges system repairs after deadly derailment

July 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM
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PARIS, July 14 (UPI) -- Following a deadly train derailment, France's president said Sunday more money will be invested in the country's aging regional rail system.

The train, traveling from Paris to Limoges, derailed Friday at Bretigny-sur-Orge due to equipment failure, killing 6 and injuring 16 who remain in the hospital, Radio France Internationale reported.

"The first conclusion we can make is to prioritize investment on classic lines, the intercity (network). We need to do a lot more to maintain the existing classic lines," said President Francois Hollande.

The SNCF, France's railway system, said a loose "fishplate" or joint bar between two rails, came off and blocked a switch track, causing it to malfunction. The railway operator has ordered 5,000 similar fishplates to be checked.

Transport Minister Frédéric Cuvillier, said the railway's infrastructure has been degrading over the past few years.

Between 2015 and 2025, $686.9 million will be spent to upgrade the aging intercity railway system, the radio station said.

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