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Depot where driver died was ‘operating at or beyond capacity’

A DEPOT in the West Midlands where a driver was killed between two trains had been ‘operating at or beyond its capacity at night’, according to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

The driver had walked between the stabled trains at Tyseley depot on 14 December last year, ‘almost certainly’ unaware that one of the units was about to be moved so that it could be coupled to the other. He received fatal injuries.

A second driver who was in charge of the coupling move did not sound a warning because this was not required by local instructions and he would not have seen the driver who died, said the RAIB.

It added that ‘the depot operator, West Midlands Trains, had not adequately considered the risks faced by drivers on depots. The investigation also found that Tyseley depot is operating at or beyond its capacity at night and that West Midlands Trains’ management assurance processes had not promoted safe working practices.’

The RAIB has made two recommendations. One is that assessments are carried out of the risks faced by anyone walking and working in depots, yards and sidings, and the other is that West Midlands Trains reviews its safety assurance processes.

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