December 3, 2013 | Mark Paradies

UK Rail Accident Investigation Press Release: Road vehicle incursion onto the railway at Aspatria, Cumbria, 26 October 2013

The RAIB is investigating the incursion of a road vehicle onto the railway at Aspatria, between Carlisle and Workington, on Saturday 26 October 2013. A train was prevented from colliding with the vehicle and nobody was injured.

Just before 10:03 hrs, a 2.5 tonne builder’s pick up vehicle ran away from the B5299 Brayton Road, broke through the railway boundary fence and fell down the embankment, coming to rest on its roof in the middle of the line used by trains going in the direction of Workington (see figure). The 09:39 hrs train from Carlisle to Lancaster was approaching at the time, but its driver was alerted by an emergency stop call over the train’s radio system and was able to stop 1.5 (2.4 km) miles from the obstruction on the line.

 Cms Resources Aspatria-Web

Figure: The builder’s pick up vehicle on the Carlisle – Workington line (by courtesy of Network Rail)

At the accident location, the B5299 joins the main A596 road at a junction adjacent to the railway, and at a point where the A596 runs parallel to the railway, before crossing it over Aspatria Tunnel. Locations where a road is close to a railway are required to be assessed by the local highway authority and/or Network Rail to determine the risk of road vehicle incursion to the operational railway.

The RAIB’s investigation will include a review of how the risk of road vehicle incursion at this site was assessed by both the local highway authority (Cumbria County Council) and Network Rail, and what subsequent actions, if any, were taken to control the risk of such incursions. The investigation will also review the current national policies and processes for the management of road vehicle incursion at locations of this type.

The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigation by the safety authority (the Office of Railway Regulation).

The RAIB will publish its findings, 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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