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RAIB reveals near-miss between pedestrian and Stansted Airport train

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has decided to post safety digests into four incidents that took place on England’s railways in November, including a near-miss between a pedestrian and a passenger train on the way to Stansted Airport.

The most recent incident, announced today, took place at around 11.55am on 29 November when two pedestrians were asked by a construction worker not to use Trinity Lane footpath crossing in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, because their exit was temporarily blocked by construction works.

When the worker eventually allowed the pedestrians to use the crossing, one of the pedestrians with a dog crossed directly in front of the passenger train running from London to Stansted Airport. 

“We have undertaken a preliminary examination into the circumstances surrounding this incident. Having assessed the evidence which has been gathered to date, we have decided to publish a safety digest,” the RAIB confirmed in a press release. “The safety digest will shortly be made available on our website.”

Safety digests are usually published by the RAIB in place of a full investigation when it is clear that safety learning from an event was identified by a previous investigation, the incident relates to compliance with existing rules, or the incident is local in nature.

The RAIB is set to publish three other safety digests shortly relating to a near-miss on a level crossing between a passenger train and an agricultural vehicle in Castle Cary, Somerset on 26 November; a charter train derailment on Southampton Easton Docks on 5 November; and a near-miss between a train and a track worker in Surbiton, Greater London, on 2 November.

Earlier this month, the RAIB found that a Tube train derailment on Ealing Broadway in March of this year was caused by miscommunication between control room staff after the leading bogie of the train was authorised to pass a red signal at danger.

The highest profile accident on England’s railway this year was the Croydon tram crash on 6 November, which killed seven and hospitalised 51 others. The RAIB’s interim report revealed that the tram was travelling at approximately three times the speed limit when it crashed. Survivors of the crash are now looking to sue Transport for London and FirstGroup for compensation.

The RAIB will be publishing its final report on the Croydon tram crash, including any safety recommendations, when its investigation is concluded.

(Image c. c.

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