TransportXtra features news, opinion and analysis from the UK transport policy & planning;
passenger transport; urban development & parking industries.

RAIB report into freight train derailment

Mark Moran
27 August 2020
Wagon MPA 394228
Wagon MPA 394228

 

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has released its report into a freight train derailment at Willesden High Level Junction.

At around 9.30pm on 6 May 2019 a single wagon in a freight train derailed on a curve approaching Willesden High Level Junction in north-west London. The wagon re-railed as it passed over the junction. Although no-one was injured, the derailment had the potential to foul lines that are open to passenger traffic or strike structures.

RAIB said an earth embankment that Network Rail had been monitoring since October 2016, and which was showing signs of progressive seasonal movement supported track.

The empty two-axle wagon derailed where the track cross-level had been changing. Derailment occurred because the wagon encountered a significant track twist and had an uneven wheel load distribution. This combination resulted in there being insufficient load at the leading left-hand wheel to prevent the wheel flange climbing over the railhead.

A check rail would have prevented the derailment, said RAIB. Network Rail had completed a risk assessment that had concluded this safeguard was not necessary on the small-radius curve.

The track twist had developed rapidly. This was because of the poor condition of the earth embankment and the loss of ballast support from under the sleepers. The measures that Network Rail had in place for inspection, maintenance and mitigation were not effective in detecting this risk and protecting the safe running of trains.

The wagon had a diagonal wheel load imbalance. This arose because the suspension adjustment arrangement was susceptible to introducing an imbalance of this type and routine maintenance had not detected that it was present.

Within Network Rail, separate teams are responsible for track maintenance and earthwork management. RAIB has identified the lack of sharing of information between these teams as a possible underlying factor.

RAIB has directed Network Rail to look at the use, and limitations, of information from its track geometry measurement trains for understanding the condition of the track. Network Rail is also asked to address problems with the track bed and/or supporting earthwork structures, and how this may affect the safe running of trains. It must also implement measures to mitigate the risks arising from known defects in supporting earthwork structures.

DB Cargo, the owner and maintainer of the derailed wagon, is asked to address the maintenance of two-axle wagons.

RAIB has additionally identified learning points concerned with indications of poor track bed condition, the importance of good liaison between track maintenance and earthwork management teams and the management of wagon diagonal wheel load imbalance.

 
 
Senior Rail Programme Manager
Midlands Connect
Birmingham
£51,379 - £57,821
Head of Strategy
Midlands Connect
Birmingham
£70,000 - £80,000
Highways Projects & Road Safety Manager
Cambridgeshire County Council

£49,268 - £53,170
View all Vacancies
 
Search
 

TransportXtra is part of Landor LINKS

© 2020 TransportXtra | Landor LINKS Ltd | All Rights Reserved

Subscriptions, Magazines & Online Access Enquires
[Frequently Asked Questions]
Email: subs.ltt@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7959

Shop & Accounts Enquires
Email: accounts@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7855

Advertising Sales & Recruitment Enquires
Email: daniel@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7861

Events & Conference Enquires
Email: conferences@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7865

Press Releases & Editorial Enquires
Email: info@transportxtra.com | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7875

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Advertise

Web design sussex by Brainiac Media 2020