August 18, 2009 | Mark Paradies

UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch Starts Investigation into a Collision Between a Passenger Train and a Frieght Train’s Container Doors

The UK RAIB press release at their web site says:

The RAIB is carrying out an investigation into the consequences of the collisions that occurred between freight container doors and three passenger trains south of Carlisle on the West Coast Main Line on 4 July 2009.

The collisions occurred between 16:02 hrs and 16:26 hrs on 4 July 2009, and involved open doors on two containers on train 4M16, the 10:39 hrs from Grangemeouth to Daventry. The doors struck three passenger trains, one heading north at Penrith, Cumbria, and two heading south at Eden Valley loop, three miles south of Penrith.   There were no casualties as a result, although considerable damage resulted to two of the trains that were struck by the doors.

The RAIB’s preliminary examination indicates that the container doors were shut and sealed when the train left Grangemeouth. Study of CCTV records indicates that the doors were probably released in the area of Law Junction, Glasgow, where the train was held by signals for about a quarter of an hour. An investigation into how and why the doors were released is being led by the British Transport Police as part of a criminal investigation.

The RAIB’s investigation is focused on the precautions that can be taken to prevent container doors from being in a position to strike other trains, or other objects at the lineside. It will not study the criminal acts that led to the doors being released. The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigations by the British Transport Police, or by the safety authority.

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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