by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Feb 02, 2013
A Swiss passenger train derailed on Saturday when it rammed into landslide debris blocking the tracks, the national SBB rail service said, adding that no one was injured in the accident.
"The 15 passengers on board have been evacuated. No one was hurt," SBB spokesman Reto Schaerli told AFP, adding that the accident happened around 9:00 am (0800 GMT).
Heavy rain overnight had caused the landslide, dropping a large mound of mud and rocks on the tracks between Palezieux and Payerne in the southwestern canton of Vaud, he said.
The first two cars of the train had jumped the track and were lodged in the mud, another SBB spokesman, Jean-Philippe Schmidt, told AFP from the scene.
The train was heavily damaged and efforts were being made to remove the rubble and try to put the train back on the tracks.
The regional train line would remain closed until Sunday evening at least, Schmidt said.
Landslides and avalanches are common in mountainous Switzerland, especially after heavy rains or sudden shifts in temperatures.
Earlier Saturday, another landslide near Bern blocked a regional train line linking the Swiss capital to Neuchatel in the northwest for several hours, and forced the highspeed TGV line between Bern and Paris to be rerouted, the ATS news agency reported.
That landslide happened at around 3:30 am -- before the first train of the day was set to pass -- and the rails were cleared and open to traffic again by 9:00 am.
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