Railway safety and crime

07.05.19

RAIB to investigate Welsh runaway train incident

The RAIB has launched an investigation into a runaway train on the Welsh Highland Railway which passed through level crossings and a train station, and passed signals placed at danger points without authorisation.

The light diesel locomotive was descending a 1-in-40 gradient towards Beddgelert station on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway on 16 April 2019 but was unable to slow down.

The RAIB said the locomotive travelled 1.25 miles without the driver being able to reduce its speed, before stopping when the gradient levelled out.

It passed over a number of open level crossings, through Beddgelert station, past a signal placed at danger and into a single line section without authorisation.

There were no injuries, but the RAIB has launched its investigation into the factors that prevented the driver from stopping the locomotive.

Investigators will also look at the maintenance of the locomotive, and any underlying management factors.

The RAIB will publishing its findings and any recommendations on its website when the investigation concludes.

It published a safety report on a similar incident in Penrhyn, Wales last month after an engineering train was unable to stop as it approached a level crossing.

In this case, the train struck the closed upper gate of the level crossing. Whilst there were no injuries, the RAIB said it could easily have been a fatal incident and published a raft of safety measures into the accident.

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