'Radio-stop' rail incidents no threat to life says PKP CEO

Tomasz Waszczuk/PAP

The unauthorised use of the railway radio-stop signals poses no threat to life, the CEO of PKP PLK, Poland’s national railway service, has said.

In a statement sent to PAP, Ireneusz Merchel said that "Polish railways are safe" and recent radio-stop incidents "cause minor traffic disturbances" and "do not pose a threat to humans."

In the past few days, a number of trains in Poland have been brought to a halt, and services disrupted, owing to the broadcast of unauthorised stop signals. 

On Tuesday alone, a total of 25 passenger trains were brought to a stop by false emergency signals in four provinces: the central Mazowieckie and Lodzkie, southwestern Opolskie and northern Pomorskie.

On Wednesday, Merchel told PAP in his statement that PKP PLK was accelerating the process of replacing analogue devices with digital devices in order to prevent people stopping trains. 

The analogue system, however, was needed for safety reasons, he said, and had prevented accidents on the railway network.

But, Merchel added, it is now possible to run this system "from the outside" and that cases of unauthorised use of the system are relatively common, and that the recent spate of incidents was not unprecedented.

What needs to be investigated is the scale of recent incidents, he said.

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