Wreck of the Aurora
The Aurora train was the forerunner of the faster and more modern Sapsan. He cruised between Moscow and St. Petersburg from June 12, 1963 until April 4, 2010. The train went daily. Travel time was 5 hours and 30 minutes. Inside the train was different from the usual trains - six soft passenger seats in each row, separated by a passage.
To monitor the condition of a rail track, track meters are used — small cabs familiar to many that pass along tracks, collecting data about the width of a track, the elevation of one rail over another, subsidence of rails, and their bends. On the morning of August 16, 1988, after taking the testimony of the engine driver, the track meter urgently sent a telegram from Moscow to Bologoye — significant subsidence and distortions were observed for 307-308 km. It was impossible to go on this section at a speed of 160 km / h - it was necessary to reduce the speed to 60 km / h by 307 km, and by 25 km / h by 308.
At about 4 pm, the senior road master Nikolai Gavrilov, bypassing the path, drew attention to the skew. It was a hot day and the rails were so hot that, according to technical instructions, it was impossible to tamper and raise the rails.
However, the imbalance was great and Gavrilov still took up the job. The telegraph operator Bologoye remembered the telegram only at about five in the evening and carried it to the route section.
And at 18:25 on the Berezayka-Poplavets section, the train crashed.
He passed through a dangerous area without slowing down - no one informed the driver. The drawdown of the track was so large that it led to the disengagement of the first car and the locomotive of the train, traveling at a speed of 155 km / h. The difference in the heights of the couplings of the cars at the moment of uncoupling was so great that the coupling of the electric locomotive of the first car damaged the support beam on which the transitional platform rested.
As a result, the train braked sharply, which, coupled with overheating of the rails, led to their additional deformation. All 15 cars gone out of the way. The overturned dining car caught fire from the kitchen stove. The fire quickly engulfed the entire carriage, spread to the neighboring ones and ran along the electric wires. “We saw several carriages and a burning dining car. Black smoke was coming from it, the electric wires began to melt, sagging. Another part of the train rolled in the opposite direction - there the destruction was stronger, but we did not see them. And they didn’t even know how serious the accident happened.
Therefore, probably, there was no panic.Everyone found something to do: women collected bed linen, water, and tied up the wounded. The men broke out the windows in the damaged cars to free the hostages remaining there. I remember a woman with a badly chopped face. She was very worried about her appearance, sobbing, went and asked everyone for a mirror. They did not give her a mirror, ”recalled the passenger train Ksenia.
“The events of that day I remember in separate flashes. There I first saw the corpse of a man with an unnatural hand extended upwards.
Later, I remembered, or it seemed that there were many dead, but my mother claims that only one caught our eye, ”said another passenger, Matvey.
The fire trucks, which were hurrying from Bologoye, Vyshny Volochyok, Udomlya and Borovichi, could not reach the site quickly because of the marshland. The fire train that reached the crash site quickly exhausted water supplies due to the large scale of the fire. In order to deliver water to extinguish a fire, a continuous running of fire trucks from a water source located approximately 2 kilometers from the accident site to the nearest place that could be reached was organized.
This place was about 150–200 meters from the railway, then there was a continuous swampy area, where the water depth reached 50-60 cm in places. to supply fire extinguishing water.
Doctors arrived only around nine in the evening. A train drove up to the Aurora; healthy passengers of the crashed train were taken to Bologoye. There, at the station, made lists for relatives. People lined up to send telegrams to their families. Aurora passengers were sent from Bologoye to Moscow, transplanted in general and second-class carriages.
About the telegram in Bologom remembered only at 10 pm. More than three hours have passed since the crash of the Aurora.
“I remember the wrecked carriages, which then dragged me into the woods and they could be seen from passing trains for several more years. There were not many corpses covered with blankets, but those who took part in dismantling the rubble saw a more terrible picture. Having transferred the radio operators to the eldest, I returned to the regiment. A few days later, the divisional commander read a thank-you letter from the Ministry of Railways for providing assistance toHe presented valuable gifts to those who were distinguished and named the death toll - 28 people. All talk of more is fiction, ”said one of the military who dealt with the aftermath of the accident.
Three more people died later in the hospital. More than a hundred injuries of varying severity. To some, on the spot, doctors amputated limbs clamped with twisted metal. 2500 m of contact network, 500 m of railway track were damaged. 12 cars were not subject to further operation. The break in the movement of trains in the area was more than 15 hours.
In addition to Gavrilov, the acting head of the distance of the path was found guilty of what happened - he allowed the production of road works in violation of instructions.
“The work was carried out without a senior process engineer, who, along with other duties, was charged with collecting information on the condition of the path, developing troubleshooting programs, and monitoring the condition of the path with manual measuring instruments after passing the car,” said office investigation data.
On the deformation of the rails reported and the train driver, proceeded to the "Aurora".
However, this information was not transmitted to the train dispatcher, the roadman and the locomotive machinists following the trains.
As a result of the proceedings, many workers were dismissed or reprimanded. Gavrilov was sentenced to a long prison term.
Now at the crash site is a small monument. Every year, on August 16, the Auroras made a five-minute stop at the crash site, so that the train crew could honor the memory of the victims and lay flowers at the monument.