February 5, 2014 | Mark Paradies

Press Release from the UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch: Serious near-miss involving a welding gang at Bridgeway user worked crossing, near Shrewsbury, 16 January 2014

From the UK RAIB web site:

RAIB is investigating a serious near-miss involving a welding gang at Bridgeway user worked crossing, near Shrewsbury.

The accident occurred just before midnight on 16 January 2014 and involved train 1J76, the 22:36 hrs service from Manchester Piccadilly to Shrewsbury. At the point of impact the train, formed by a class 175 diesel multiple unit operated by Arriva Trains Wales, was travelling at approximately 85 mph (136 km/h). It braked to a stand in around half a mile (0.8 km).

Seconds before the collision a member of staff jumped off the trolley and clear of the train. A van, inside which another member of staff was unloading equipment, was parked close to the railway and was very nearly struck by the train. Although the train did not derail, it suffered significant damage, including a ruptured fuel tank. The member of staff who jumped clear suffered minor injuries.

The trolley was being loaded on the up line to move equipment southwards, towards Shrewsbury, to undertake a weld repair. However, this line was still open to traffic to allow train 1J76, the last train of the evening, to approach (the down line had been blocked by arrangement with the controlling signaller based in Cardiff).

NewImageImage of trolley underneath the damaged train (courtesy of Network Rail)

 RAIB’s investigation will establish the sequence of events, examine how the work was planned, how the staff involved were being managed and the way in which railway safety rules were applied. It will also seek to understand the actions of the track workers involved, and factors that may have influenced their behaviour and attitudes.

RAIB will assess the railway industry’s current strategy for undertaking work of this type, and will review the actions taken in response to previous RAIB recommendations relating to the safety of track workers.

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