Travel Trouble

Derailed train saved by giant whale tail

Derailed train saved by giant whale tail

An elevated tram ran past the end of its tracks in the city of Rotterdam and instead of plunging 10 metres to the ground, it rested gently on top of a statue of a whale's tail, coincidentally called Saved by a Whale's Tale.

The conductor emerged shocked but unharmed and there were no passengers on board. 

The event created such a stir that authorities urged sightseers to stay away, adding that coronavirus restrictions were still in force.

"A team of experts is investigating how we can make it safe and get it down," Carly Gorter, a spokeswoman for the local security authority, said in a telephone interview.

"It's tricky."

The architect who designed the sculpture Maarten Struijs has said he is pleased that it likely saved the life of the driver.

"I'm surprised it's so strong," he said.

"If plastic has been standing for 20 years, you don't expect it to hold a metro carriage."