When Boredom Strikes

This whale tail sculpture saved a train that went off the rails

A train in the Netherlands failed to stop in time and broke through the emergency barrier. It's being held up by the statue of a whale's tail.

A Dutch train that had overrun the track was prevented from falling to the ground below by an enormous sculpture depicting two whale tails. “Saved by the Whale’s Tail,” is the appropriately named sculpture, and the incident happened at the De Akkers metro station in Spijkenisse, which is close to Rotterdam.

Designed by architect Maarten Struijs, the sculpture in silver is composed of reinforced polyester and was placed at the station in 2002. The train, which is a part of the Rotterdam Metro network, shot through the automatic buffers at the end of the track just after midnight, according to the train’s operator RET. It landed on one of the whale tails, saving it from plummeting 32 feet to the ground.

This whale tail sculpture saved a train that went off the rails 1
The curious scene is attracting fascinated locals © Niels Wenstedt/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Two metro routes, C from Capelle aan den IJssel and D from Rotterdam, terminate at De Akkers. No passengers were on board when the accident occurred. After the train came to a stop, the driver was able to get off without getting hurt. The sensitive removal procedure is made more difficult by the fact that the problematic track is directly above water and that big cranes cannot operate in the area. According to a local safety board spokesman, “We are trying to decide how we can bring the train down in a careful and controlled manner,” which was broadcaster NOS.

This whale tail sculpture saved a train that went off the rails 2
The silver sculpture was installed at the station in 2002 © Niels Wenstedt/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Locals are drawn to the odd scene as authorities figure out how to best remove the train from its unusual perch, but they are cautioned to keep their distance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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