At 08:25 hrs on 22 October 2015, Sheffield Supertram 120 collided with tram 118 which was stationary in the tram stop at Shalesmoor. A number of passengers and a member of staff received minor injuries, and the tramway through Shalesmoor was closed for the remainder of the day.
The collision occurred in conditions of low rail head adhesion on the approach to Shalesmoor tram stop at the time. Tram 120 was not being driven in a manner appropriate for the conditions, and its brakes did not provide the level of braking the driver expected. An additional factor was that at the time, tram 118 was at the tram stop and had not been able to depart prior to the collision because it was blocked by road traffic queuing at a yellow box junction ahead.
As a result of this investigation, RAIB has made one recommendation for UK tram operators relating to reviewing and where necessary improving, their processes for managing the risks from low adhesion conditions.
RAIB has also identified one key learning point relating to the performance of magnetic track brakes when the rail head has low adhesion.
Notes to editors
The sole purpose of RAIB investigations is to prevent future accidents and incidents and improve railway safety. RAIB does not establish blame, liability or carry out prosecutions.
RAIB operates, as far as possible, in an open and transparent manner. While our investigations are completely independent of the railway industry, we do maintain close liaison with railway companies and if we discover matters that may affect the safety of the railway, we make sure that information about them is circulated to the right people as soon as possible, and certainly long before publication of our final report.
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