August 24, 2010 | Mark Paradies

UK RAIB Issues Press Release: Investigation into a collision between a passenger train and a lorry on a level crossing near Sudbury, Suffolk, on 17 August 2010

The RAIB is carrying out an investigation into a collision that occurred at Sewage Works Lane level crossing, 1.5 miles south of Sudbury in Suffolk, on 17 August 2010.
The accident occurred at around 17:35 hrs when train 2T27, the 17:31 hrs service from Sudbury to Marks Tey, struck the trailer of a loaded articulated tanker lorry on the crossing, causing the leading carriage of the two-car class 156 diesel multiple unit to derail.

There were about 19 passengers on the train and two crew members (driver and conductor).  It is reported that all persons on the train received injuries as a consequence of the impact with one passenger sustaining critical injuries.

The impact separated the tractor unit of the lorry from the tank causing a major spillage of the tank’s contents.  Some diesel fuel was also released during the accident.

Sewage Works Lane crossing is a ‘user worked crossing’, as is often found at the intersections between the railway and minor (usually private) roads.  At all such crossings the road user is required to operate gates or barriers when crossing the railway.

No lights or audible alarms were provided at the crossing to warn of the approach of trains.  However, the crossing was provided with telephones to enable the drivers of vehicles to call the signaller to confirm if it was safe to cross.

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.

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