False Accusations: SNCB Investigates Train Incident at Silly Station

2023-11-26 10:42:00

Turnaround… While an attendant blocked a train at Silly station last Thursday because she believed that the driver was drunk and that he had run red lights, it turns out that none of this is true . An investigation is being carried out at SNCB. The driver left the train at Silly station. – BL By Céline Delcroix Journalist Nord Eclair Published on 11/21/2023 at 4:46 p.m.

Last week, we learned that an attendant had “blocked” the train leaving Tournai station on Thursday evening at 10:09 p.m. near Silly, because she believed that the driver was drunk. She also stated that the latter had missed the stop at Mouscron station and crossed two red lights. Angry, the man left his post.

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A few days after the incident, the situation turns around: we learn that not only was the driver not drunk but he also did not run any red lights. A situation that calls attention to.

“He never passed a signal in Mouscron or a red light. He respected everything it was possible to respect. In any case, it’s impossible because we have an optimal security system. As soon as a train passes a red light, it stops automatically and it is signaled,” indicates Jeff Boulanger, permanent CGSP Cheminots Hainaut Occidental.

Not alcoholic

The unionist also specifies that the driver was not intoxicated. “He took a taxi to return to the depot as planned since the attendant no longer wanted him to drive given his condition, even though it was proven that this was false. He hadn’t been drinking. You have to explain to me how you can determine that someone is drunk without taking a blood test or blowing a balloon and above all denouncing them when it’s not true! You have to check before you speak. And I don’t understand why the train didn’t stop elsewhere, like in Ath, while in Silly, it’s the bush, there’s nothing. I also don’t understand why the attendant said that the driver was driving strangely because apart from accelerating, braking or stopping, we don’t know how to do much else.”

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Blood alcohol tests are carried out regularly. “The inspectors can go to all the workstations and blow the balloon. It’s very common. Any railway official can be asked to take a breather during random checks. If an officer is caught drunk, this may result in disciplinary consequences which may include disbarment. There is no trivialization, there is zero tolerance! “.

An investigation is being carried out

The permanent employee therefore does not fully understand what happened to get to this point. “I don’t think it was revenge or a private concern because then she would have done this elsewhere, but not to Silly. I think it’s a human reaction. The escort did not want to continue because she suspected the driver of being drunk and the latter became angry following these accusations. I only regret that this story was relayed before the checks were made. We already have an image tarnished by the lack of staff and resources and this puts a layer on the quality of the staff,” he regrets.

For its part, SNCB takes the matter very seriously. “SNCB immediately launched an internal investigation and informed that there was no crossing of red signals,” said Elisa Roux, spokesperson.


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