Odescalchi 2022: the FS Italiane Group is amongst the protagonists of the Italo-Swiss cross-border exercise

The derailment of a freight train following a landslide was simulated. Emergency response procedures were put to the test.

Milan, 16 June 2022

Yesterday morning, near Colmegna along the Luino-Pino Tronzano line, a Civil Protection exercise took place, coordinated by the Prefecture of Varese. Taking part were the Milan Operations Room and the first responder teams of the FS Italiane Group, the operational structures of the Civil Protection, Fire Brigade, 118 Emergency Service, Polfer, Law Enforcement Agencies, the Joint Operations Command, the Province of Varese, Municipality of Luino, Municipality of Maccagno con Pino e Veddasca, Municipality of Tronzano Lago Maggiore, with the participation of the Civil Protection Division and Region of Lombardy.

A derailment of a freight train carrying dangerous goods was simulated. Debris hit the train, causing it to partially derail, with a rail tanker running off the tracks and left dangling over the State Road 394 passing below, in line with kilometre VI-34, where the road passes directly beneath the railway embankment.

Furthermore, the derailment caused the spillage of hazardous substances (LPG butane or another non-toxic substance), yet without run-off into the lake.

The railway company staff on duty informed the Operations Centre of the Swiss Railways, which subsequently alerted the Operations Centre of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana. The Fire Brigade and 118 Emergency Service were called whilst a call also went out to the Operations Rooms of the local Police, Territorial Civil Defence and Railway Police, who cordoned off and manned the area.

Particular attention was paid to verifying the effectiveness and speed of activating the emergency management procedures, particularly in the minutes leading up to the rescue operations.

The exercise forms part of the periodically-planned initiatives to monitor the effectiveness of the flow of communications and the chain of coordination, as well as the readiness of the territorial structures. This is all so as to improve safety standards and the protection of people, property and the environment. The shared objective is to test the emergency plans and field test the technical intervention and assistance system envisaged in the Protocol entered into between the FS Italiane Group, the Civil Protection system and 118.

There was no impact on railway traffic.