Press Release from the UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch: RAIB investigation – Ufton level crossing
The RAIB is carrying out an investigation into an incident which occurred at Ufton level crossing, Berkshire, between Theale and Aldermaston stations, on 4 September 2011.
The double track main line between Reading (Southcote Junction) and Westbury had been closed for engineering work overnight on Friday/Saturday 3/4 September. One of the two lines was re-opened at about midday, after which it was used to carry trains in both directions until the engineering works were completed in the late afternoon.
At about 12:29 hrs, the 11:13 hrs train from London Paddington to Bedwyn (train 1K54), which was the first train over the line following re-opening, passed over the automatic half barrier level crossing at Ufton at about 60 mph (100 km/h) while the barriers were in the raised position and the road traffic warning lights were not showing. A car, which was approaching from the south on Ufton Lane, the unclassified road which runs over the level crossing, had to stop suddenly to avoid colliding with the train.
Ufton level crossing
The RAIB’s preliminary examination found that the level crossing was being controlled locally at the time of the incident. The person controlling the crossing had not received any instruction to lower the barriers before the train arrived.
The RAIB investigation will include an examination of the arrangements for re-opening the railway to normal train services, particularly the workload on signallers and the arrangements for operating trains in both directions on the same line. It will also examine staff competence and fitness.
The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigations by the British Transport Police and the safety authority (the Office of Rail Regulation).
The RAIB will publish a report, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of its investigation. This report will be available on the RAIB website.