Railway safety and crime

19.03.18

RAIB issues safety advice after Inverness passenger train collides with unattached rail

The RAIB has issued urgent safety advice after an incident in February that saw a passenger service run into an unattached 130 metre length of rail near Inverness.

Investigators said the train was travelling at around 53mph when it collided with the rail, which had been left across the track by engineers the night before who failed to remove it when work was completed.

While nobody was injured and the train was left undamaged, the incident has prompted the RAIB to warn Network Rail engineers about the condition lines are left in when infrastructure work is completed.

It follows a string of incidents over the last four years, including a collision in May of last year which involved a separate train striking a tubular steel pile near Kirkham in Lancashire.

The Inverness incident saw the train push the length of rail from the track into the cess, meaning it did not derail.

“The rail had been moved from the cess on the opposite side of the line during engineering work which took place the previous night,” the RAIB said.

“Network Rail has company standards that require that, on completion of engineering work, a nominated competent authorised person must undertake an inspection of the track to confirm that it is safe for trains to travel over at the authorised speed. It is not yet clear why this requirement was not effective on this occasion.”

The investigator is currently undertaking a preliminary examination into the situation and is expected to publish full details of their review within a month.

Top image: RAIB

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