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Derailed train probe

07 September 2020

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, was showing signs of progressive seasonal movement.

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.

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