You are here
Home > Uncategorized > Defective track caused Sheffield freight derailment

Defective track caused Sheffield freight derailment

THE Rail Accident Investigation Branch has reported that the derailment of a train of cement wagons at Sheffield which disrupted services for almost a week was caused by defective track fastenings which allowed the gauge to spread.

The accident happened at about 02.45 on 11 November, when 16 of the 34 tanker wagons became derailed as the train was passing at low speed through platform 1.

One wagon tipped over, spilling some of its cargo of cement powder on to the track. Five of the eight platforms at Sheffield were blocked by the stranded train, and although work by Network Rail allowed some platforms to reopen fairly quickly, the station was only fully available again six days later, as the derailed wagons had to be lifted clear by crane and the track repaired.

The RAIB’s interim report says that the train brake pipe started to leak as the wagons derailed, resulting in a gradual application of the brakes. The driver saw the brake pipe pressure gauge dropping and applied the train brake, bringing the train to a stand, while the signaller made an immediate ‘all stop’ emergency call to trains in the area.

RAIB’s preliminary examination found that a series of rail fastenings had broken. and the initial evidence suggests that some of these had already failed before the derailment.

The RAIB said its investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events which led to the accident. It will also consider any factors relevant to the design and maintenance of both the track and the wagons involved, how the risk of derailment was controlled at this location and any relevant underlying factors.

Leave a Reply