Over 80 people may have died in the Spanish train disaster. Could a similar accident occur here? Photo: Scanpix

Train safety in Sweden questioned

The tragic train derailment in Spain on Wednesday which has resulted in the death of over 80 people has caused Swedish authorities to question train safety in this country.

In Sweden it would be impossible for a train to be driven too quickly on stretches of rail which have a speed limit, the Swedish Transport Authoity told Svenska Dagbladet.

"We have had an Automatic Train Control (ATC) security system in place for several years which sends signals from the rails if a train is travelling too quickly. If that is the case, sensors are sent to the locomotive's computer which causes the breaks to be applied, " said Håkan Nordqvist, safety officer officer of the Swedish Transport Agency.

However, several changes could be made to further improve security on Sweden's trains, according to experts.

Rebecca Forsberg, a researcher in train safety based at the University of Umeå, says that seat belts need to be introduced for passengers, and alll train baggage should be locked into secure compartments prior to the start of a journey.

The cause of the accident in Spain is still unknown.

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