Latest Rail News

27.09.16

RAIB opens investigation into Watford derailment

An investigation will be carried out after a train derailment at Watford Junction caused major delays last week.

The derailment was caused by a landslip due to heavy rain, but the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said it needed to investigate why exactly the landslip occurred and issues affecting the stability of the cutting slope.

The front carriage of the 06.19 service from Milton Keynes to London Euston was derailed when it hit the landslip at 70mph at about 06.55 on 16 September.

Two minutes later, the 06.34 service from London Euston to Birmingham approached the train. The driver received an emergency stop message which had been sent out by the driver of the derailed train, giving him time to slow the train from 80mph to 32mph. However, it still struck the derailed train a glancing blow.

Two passengers suffered minor injuries and the 150 passengers on both trains had to be evacuated to another train.

There were significant delays on Virgin, London Midland and Southern services on the route until the end of the day.

The RAIB will also investigate staff’s knowledge of, and response to, the rain, the actions of staff and performance of safety systems between the derailment and subsequent collision, and management factors during the incident.

Strengthening work was taking place on the sides of the cutting where the incident occurred, but it had not yet reached the site of the landslip.

(Image c. Steve Parsons from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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