News story

Locomotive runaway at Beddgelert

Investigation into a runaway locomotive at Beddgelert, Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway, 16 April 2019.

‘Vale of Ffestiniog’ locomotive involved in the incident at Beddgelert station

‘Vale of Ffestiniog’ locomotive involved in the incident at Beddgelert station

At around 09:15 hrs on Tuesday 16 April 2019, a light diesel locomotive which was descending a 1 in 40 gradient towards Beddgelert station on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway, was unable to slow down.

The locomotive was travelling at around 10 mph (16 km/h) for 1.25 miles (2 km) without the driver being able to reduce its speed. It passed over a number of open level crossings, through Beddgelert station, past a signal placed at danger and into a single line section without authorisation. The locomotive stopped when the gradient levelled out 0.6 miles (1 km) after the station. There were no injuries.

Our investigation will establish the sequence of events and consider:

  • the factors that prevented the driver from stopping the locomotive
  • the maintenance of the locomotive
  • any underlying management factors

Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.

We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.

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Published 3 May 2019