Press Release from the UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch: Investigation into the derailment of a Bure Valley Railway passenger train near Brampton, Aylsham, Norfolk, 30 May 2011
The RAIB is investigating an accident that occurred when the 14:40 hrs passenger train from Wroxham to Aylsham derailed close to the village of Brampton, near Aylsham, in Norfolk. The train was running on the Bure Valley Railway, a tourist railway, with a track gauge of 350 mm (15 inches). The train consisted of seven coaches and a brake van and was hauled by a steam locomotive. It was staffed by two crew members and was carrying 61 passengers.
The train is believed to have been travelling at about 16 mph (26 km/h) when the end of an axle under the second coach fractured, derailing its leading bogie. During the derailment the other, undamaged, wheelset, fitted to the derailed bogie, forced its way through the wooden floor of the coach into a passenger compartment.
There were no reported injuries as a result of the accident and most of the passengers walked through to Aylsham to complete their journeys. The remainder were transported by road.
The RAIB’s preliminary examination of the site confirmed that axle failure was the cause of the derailment. There was no evidence that the maintenance of the track, or the operation of the train were factors contributing to the accident.
The RAIB’s further investigation activities will focus on the failure of the axle and will be independent of any investigation by the safety authority (the Office of Rail Regulation).