UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch to Investigate Two Recent Rail Accidents
Here’s a description from the UK RAIB of the first accident:
Investigation into the blowback of a steam locomotive fire at
Wood Green, north London, on 27 May 2012
Steam locomotive 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’
The RAIB is carrying out an investigation into an incident involving the blowback of the locomotive fire on a steam train running on the East Coast Main Line in which three members of the train crew were injured.
The incident occurred at 11:04 hrs on 27 May 2012, as the train was travelling through Wood Green tunnel in north London. The locomotive fire blew back into the cab as the locomotive entered the tunnel and continued to do so until the driver was able to bring the situation under control by use of the blower (a device fitted to steam locomotives which draws the hot gas from the fire towards the chimney).
All three members of staff in the cab suffered burns. The train was stopped at New Barnet to allow two of the staff to be taken by ambulance to hospital. They were released after treatment later that day. The driver’s injuries were minor and he was able to continue with the train.
The train involved was a special passenger train running from London to Rowsley, in Derbyshire. It was operated by West Coast Railways and had started from Finsbury Park station. It was being hauled by a class 47 diesel locomotive in tandem with steam locomotive 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’.
The RAIB’s preliminary examination found that the locomotive crew had been distracted by having to deal with a problem on the footplate just as the train approached the tunnel and did not take the normal precautions against blowback before entering the tunnel.
The investigation will include an examination of the circumstances leading up to the accident and the way in which the locomotive’s controls were handled.
The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigations by the safety authority, the Office of Rail Regulation.
The RAIB will publish its findings, including any learning points to improve safety, at the conclusion of the investigation. This will be available on the RAIB website.
Here is a description by the UK RAIB of the second accident:
Investigation into an accident at Margam Yard, near Port Talbot, on 12 June 2012
Image of wagons involved in the accident
The RAIB is carrying out an investigation into an accident in which a member of staff was seriously injured while carrying out shunting work at Margam Yard, near Port Talbot, on 12 June 2012. The accident took place on a siding used for wagon maintenance. The injured person was a member of staff whose principal activity was the repair of wagons.
The accident occurred at about 10:50 hrs when two wagons were being coupled together after the completion of repair work. The wagons had been standing a few metres apart while the injured party and the designated person (the person in charge of shunting operations) were preparing them for coupling. The injured party had been working between the wagons. He stepped to the side of the track on the far side of the wagons from the designated person, who then moved to release the handbrake on one of the wagons. The designated person, while standing beside the handbrake, instructed the driver of an adapted forklift truck to push this wagon against the other to engage the couplings. The injured party was crushed between the buffers of the two vehicles when this instruction was carried out.
The RAIB’s preliminary examination found that after stepping to the side of the track, and without the designated person’s knowledge, the injured party had returned to a position between the wagons. A reconstruction by the RAIB showed that the designated person could not see the area between the wagons when instructing the forklift driver. In addition, the forklift driver was unable to see this area.
The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigations by the safety authority (the Office of Rail Regulation).
The RAIB will publish its findings at the conclusion of the investigation. This will be available on the RAIB website.