A high-speed TGV train in France yesterday travelled 40 kilometres with the body of a cyclist embedded in the front of the cab – the grisly discovery only made by railway staff and passengers when it stopped at Mulhouse, close to the Swiss border.
According to a spokesman for French state railway SNCF, the train driver would not have been able to see the body nor the serious damage that the front right-hand side of the train sustained, reports Le Parisien. The spokesman added that incidents of this type are "relatively rare."
Remains of the unnamed 48-year-old man’s bicycle were discovered at a level crossing at Petit-Croix in the province of Belfort in the Franche-Comté region. Police are unable to confirm whether they believe the death to have resulted from an accident or suicide.
But according to the website Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, whose article is accompanied by a picture of the damaged train, the saddle of the bike was found with the body, which it says suggests he was riding across the level crossing when the train arrived.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.