Rail freight

17.04.15

RAIB investigating another incident of a container falling from a train

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has announced it is investigating the second incident of a container being blown off a freight train in a month.

The organisation is already looking into an incident on 7 March in Cumbria where high winds blew a 30-foot container off a freight train travelling at 75mph down the mainline. Now RAIB is looking into a second occurrence which happened on 31 March near Deeping St Nicholas, where a 40-foot container was blown off a train travelling at 38mph.

The RAIB report says that the 31 March incident occurred at around 15:22, when the empty container was blown from a FEA(S) wagon that formed part of the 11:21 GB Railfreight service from Felixstowe South to Doncaster Railport.

The train was travelling at approximately 38mph on the Down Spalding line when the container fell. It became caught up with the train and was dragged a short distance before coming to rest on the adjacent track.

The automatic brake brought the train to a stop after travelling a further 250 metres. The brake was applied when the container struck the handbrake handwheels of several wagons and damaged a safety mechanism.

RAIB say that the incident took place at a time of high cross winds and that “significant damage” was caused to the infrastructure, including a trackside telecommunications cabinet, sleepers and rail fixings and axle counter heads.

The wagon was fitted with UIC spigots on which the container was mounted. However, RAIB’s investigation of previous similar incidents at Hardendale and Cheddington in 2008 found that inwardly hinging spigots, of the same type as those on FEA(S) wagons, do not meet the standards required and are unable to resist the overturning forces experienced in strong winds.

Following RAIB’s report on the 2008 incident, GB Railfreight addressed the risk of containers blowing off in strong winds procedurally by imposing a maximum speed of 60mph for trains carrying empty containers on FEA(S) wagons when wind speeds of between 56mph and 65mph are forecast, or by removing empty containers altogether when wind speeds of more than 65mph are expected.

At the time of the incident a 60mph speed limit had been instituted on the journey due to a forecast of 60mph wind gusts. However, RAIB say that data from a wind farm close to the accident site indicates that there were higher localised gusts in the 10-minute interval during which the incident occurred.

Following the Cumbria incident earlier in March an Urgent Safety Advice to the rail industry was issued. Now a second incident has occurred Network Rail has issued an instruction to freight operating companies requiring empty containers carried on wagons with non-compliant UIC spigots to be mechanically locked to the wagon or removed from the train, pending the conclusion of investigations into both accidents.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Maritime Transport launch new rail services

17/07/2019Maritime Transport launch new rail services

Maritime Transport has launched two new rail services from DP World London Gateway to its rail terminals in Trafford Park and Wakefield. It ... more >
Campaign for Windsor Link Railway to be revived

17/07/2019Campaign for Windsor Link Railway to be revived

A campaign for a rail link between Windsor and Heathrow Airport is to be revived, after the scheme was turned down by the Department for Transpor... more >
Conwy Valley Line to partly reopen tomorrow

17/07/2019Conwy Valley Line to partly reopen tomorrow

The Conwy Valley line is set to reopen for passengers ahead of the National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst, Network Rail has announced. Llandud... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >