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RAIB releases safety digest after Toton derailment

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has issued a safety digest after an incident in Nottinghamshire last year in which a train ran away from its driver and travelled almost a kilometre along an independent goods line before coming off the rails.

On 30 October 2016 a Class 70 Colas Rail train ran down a gradient at Toton sidings while it was being prepared to be coupled to another train, leaving the driver and shunter unable to stop it.

The train eventually travelled 880 metres along the independent goods line before hitting trap points and derailing.

The RAIB has said that the incident demonstrates the importance of drivers ensuring that a rail vehicle is secured and making sure that drivers are appropriately trained to perform processes they would only perform occasionally.

The train had just arrived into Toton when it ran away after the driver started the train’s engine and intended but failed to reinstate the parking brakes, accidentally isolating them instead.

As the driver did not secure the train by scotching the wheels before it was uncoupled, the train then ran away before it could be secured to the new bogie.

The shunter climbed into the cab in an attempt to stop the train but found himself unable to do so because the driver had isolated the brakes.

The driver had worked for Colas Rail since 2006 and was trained to operate Class 70 trains in 2014, successfully completing a driving skills assessment and a refresher in Class 70s the month before the incident. However, he normally operated other types of train.

The RAIB said that the need to ensure that trains are appropriately secured when working on their braking systems, such as by using scotches, had been covered in its report of a similar incident in 2014 when a train ran away from Quorn station and collided with stationary vehicles.

(Image c.

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David Starbuck   17/01/2017 at 15:17

The above short report is interesting but I found it rather confusing. Did a train or a locomotive run away ? Also what was the bogie it was being coupled to ? I don't think there are many bogies around that can be coupled directly to a locomotive (or a train).

Jak Jaye   18/01/2017 at 09:36

Train a driver on Class 70s then not drive one for months brilliant! yet another rail privatisation disaster story

Roger Capel, Sheffield & Glossop   18/01/2017 at 11:29

Jak Jaye, If you think BR was better, an old mate of mine was sent on a course at Toton to learn to drive Class 60s. On the Friday, they gave him a certificate as a passed Class 60 driver. On the following Friday he retired-----

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