The challenges of rapidly changing storm conditions, decision-making and staff actions have come under Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) scrutiny, following the derailment of a train that had collided with a tree.
There were no injuries and only minor damage to the train and to signalling equipment when 150284 hit a tree at 46mph at Balderton (Cheshire), causing the leading axle to derail, at 2313 on November 26 2021.
The train had already collided with three other small trees on its Wrexham General-Chester journey.
RAIB says that the Rule Book requires signallers to contact route control after a collision. On this occasion, route control did not instruct the signaller to restrict the movement of the train after the second collision.
By the time the train derailed, 19 fallen trees had been reported on Network Rail, including nine in the North West route. Route control decided against applying a blanket emergency speed restriction (BESR), as it believed the incidents were mostly minor and manageable.
RAIB says that recommendations made to Network Rail after the Carmont accident “address some of the factors” in the Balderton accident.
These cover improving processes for “mitigating the effects of extreme weather conditions and enhancing route-control staff skills and resources to improve incident management”,
To read the full story, see RAIL 965