Railway safety and crime

11.04.19

Train ‘fortunate’ to avoid collision after breaking through barriers at a level crossing, RAIB reports

The RAIB has published a raft of safety measures after a train ran onto a level crossing and broke through the barriers in what could have been a fatal incident.

The engineering train was approaching a level crossing at Penrhyn in Wales on 6 January 2019 and did not stop, striking the closed upper gate, pushing through it and coming to a stand in front of both carriageways of the road.

There were no injuries and only minor damage caused to the gates, but the RAIB has published its independent safety digest as a collision with a road vehicle could have been fatal and its was “fortunate” that there were no vehicles on the crossing at the time of the incident.

The train driver applied the locomotive brakes with the intention of stopping short of the gate before realising the wheels had locked and the train was continuing to move down the gradient.

The vacuum brake was then applied, but this was “insufficient” to stop the 23-tonne train in time.

The RAIB’s investigation found that the brakes “were not applied until the last moment,” and witness evidence indicated that the railway was contaminated with debris and road salt.

The driver carried out what he said was the custom and practice of the drivers he had trained with, despite this going against the local instructions in the operating procedures and clear signage adjacent to the line.

The RAIB said many rules developing following past incidents may have been forgotten as time passes and the reason why they exist might not be obvious, but the “important of complying with it does not diminish.”

The report said the accident serves as a reminder of why it’s important to follow railway rules and operating instructions, and warned that in this case the consequences of a collision could have been fatal as drivers would have gotten very little warning due to the curvature of the railway line.

It said ensuring trains stop at a ‘Stop’ board before a level crossing is a “sensible and realistic precaution against inadvertent overruns,” adding that it was important for organisations to have measures in place to ensure unsafe ‘customs and practice’ have not developed.

A number of similar incidents have occurred at the level crossing over the past 30 years with the most recent coming in 2007 when a train ran into the gates due to its wheels locking, with contamination again cited as the cause.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Rail North Partnership review sets out recommendations

19/07/2019Rail North Partnership review sets out recommendations

A review of the Rail North Partnership, headed by Leeds Council leader cllr Judith Blake and rail minister Andrew Jones, has set out recommendati... more >
TfL announces 4G for London Underground in 2020

19/07/2019TfL announces 4G for London Underground in 2020

Transport for London (TfL) have announced that 4G will be available on parts of the London Underground from March 2020. The eastern half of ... more >
Study of light rail finds Manchester Metrolink one of best in the world

19/07/2019Study of light rail finds Manchester Metrolink one of best in the world

An international study of light rail systems has identified Metrolink as one of the best in the world. The system was rated as fifth best in... 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 >