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French line 'considered safe' before rock derailment

French authorities said it had considered a railway track in the French Alps to be safe before two people died when a tourist train was derailed by a falling boulder.

The line carrying the derailed train had been considered safe before it was hit by a falling boulder Credit: REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo

Regional transport official Jean-Yves Petit said that even in winter "the track isn't unusually dangerous".

About 30 people were onboard the train, which was left dangling from a clifftop for hours after the incident.

Derailed train left dangling from clifftop after rock fall

A train travelling through the French Alps was left dangling for hours after being derailed by a fast-falling boulder.

Two people were killed and nine injured after the so-called Train of the Pines was hit by a boulder just outside the town of Annot.

The mayor of the town Jean Ballester said the rock fell with "an extraordinary force".

A French tourist train was derailed in the French Alps after being hit by a falling rock Credit: REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo
The boulder impact formed a huge crater in the side of one of the train carriages Credit: REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo
The train was left dangling for hours after being derailed Credit: REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo

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Deaths confirmed after falling boulder derails train

The rock which caused the derailment of a tourist train in Annot in the French Alps. Credit: REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo

French authorities have confirmed that two people were killed and nine were injured after a giant rock derailed a train outside the town of Annot.

Around 30 people were on board the tourist train travelling in the French Alps.

Two rescue helicopters were dispatched to the area to help evacuate the stricken train.

'Two dead' after train derails in French Alps

Two people, including a Russian tourist, are reported dead after a train derailed in French Alps, 150 kilometers north of the coastal city of Nice.

Firefighters and medical staff had some difficulties reaching the remote snowy site.

Railways of Provence experts told a local newspaper Nice-Matin a rock falling on the tracks might have caused the accident.

Govt pushes for lower train fares for flood victims

Train companies should lower fares to help people affected by the floods, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said.

A huge length of railway track is exposed and left hanging after the sea wall collapsed in Dawlish Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

"People's rail travel is getting affected. I want train companies to help them by reducing their fares," he said, Inspecting the devastating damage to rail tracks at Dawlish in Devon.

McLoughlin denied the Government had been slow to respond to the flooding but recognised that people "were angry", adding he was hopeful Network Rail would keep their promise of repairing the destruction at Dawlish, that has severely disrupted south-west England train services, in around six weeks.

South West Trains services disrupted by flooding

A number of South West Trains services have been cancelled or delayed due to flooding and "electricity supply problems".

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Damage to rail network 'even worse' than St Jude

Network Rail reports that the damage caused by the severe weather is "even more extensive" than that inflicted by St Jude's storm in October.

But it adds that "nearly all main lines" are now open and that "most passengers have now completed their journeys".

Rail travel to Gatwick airport remains difficult due to landslips, it said.

Southeastern: All lines affected by poor weather

Southeastern reports that services remain disrupted across its entire network due to the poor weather:

East Coast Trains: Customers may travel at any time

East Coast Trains is one of many rail companies that have lifted restrictions on when passengers can travel tonight and tomorrow.

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