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17.03.16

Warning issued over out-of-date Underground safety advice after derailment

A train derailment on the London Underground may have been due to out-of-date signal documentation given to staff, prompting the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) to issue urgent safety advice.

The derailment occurred at 1.30am on 2 March on point 39 outside Ealing Broadway after the train passed signal WP17 at danger.

RAIB’s preliminary examination found that some of the documents that staff were using to identify the points and signals along the route were out-of-date.

They have issued urgent safety advice to London Underground to ensure that there is an adequate process in place covering the issue, management and control of critical safety documentation for staff.

The train, from Upminster, was held for an hour at the signal, which was red due to a track circuit failure.

Staff took action to secure point 38, but points 39A was not identified as needing to be secured, causing the train to derail when it passed over its at 5mph after the train was authorised.

No one was injured, damage occurred to the points but not the train, and the 19 passengers on the train were safely evacuated.

Ealing Broadway diagram

RAIB are also looking into other factors which could have led to the derailment, including the methods used to correctly identify and secure points, the effectiveness of non-technical skills training provided to staff, and management proceedings.

RTM approached Transport for London for a comment but at the time of publication had not received a reply.

RAIB also recently issued a safety warning about power operated door systems found on a number of trains after a passenger’s backpack was trapped in a train at West Wickham, leading to injury.

(Image and diagram of accident c. RAIB)

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