Press Release from the UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch: RAIB investigation – Camden Road derailment, 15 October 2013
Image of derailed train near to Camden Road station
The train involved was travelling from Lawley Street in Birmingham to Felixstowe and comprised a class 70 locomotive hauling 22 flat wagons loaded with containers. The fifth wagon on the train was carrying two containers. The container at the leading end was loaded with scrap metal and the container at the trailing end was empty.
At around 02:40 hrs, the rear bogie of the fifth wagon derailed in the vicinity of the disused station at Primrose Hill as the train was travelling over the spur which links the West Coast Main Line with the North London line. The train was travelling at around 17 mph (27 km/h) at the time. The train then ran with the bogie derailed for a distance of about 900 metres.
As the train joined the North London line at Camden Road West Junction, the derailed bogie struck the points, causing the rear bogie to collapse and the front bogie of the same wagon to derail. The rear container on the wagon fell from the train, and collided with an overhead line stanchion. The damage to the wagons in the vicinity of the derailment split the train’s brake pipe and this resulted in the train being stopped automatically.
The route through Camden Road was closed for six days as it was necessary for Network Rail to arrange for key track and overhead line equipment components to be specially manufactured. London Overground services and freight train operations between the Midlands and the Thames-side ports/East Anglia were severely disrupted throughout this period.
The RAIB’s investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events. It will include consideration of the distribution of the load on the wagon that derailed and the condition of the track in the area. It will also take into consideration the findings from other similar accidents that the RAIB has investigated, most notably the derailment of a container train at Duddeston Junction on 10 August 2007 (RAIB report 16/2008).
The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigation by the Office of Rail Regulation.
The RAIB will publish its findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of its investigation. This report will be available on the RAIB website.