Report 30/2009: Accident at Dalston Junction

Accident at Dalston Junction, North London, 30 March 2009.


At 12:43 hrs on 30 March 2009 a passenger train from Richmond to Stratford, travelling at about 15 mph (25 km/h), struck a railway worker on the track at Dalston Junction, north London. The track worker was struck on the head and thrown to the ground. He was taken to hospital, but was not seriously injured and has since made a full recovery.

The immediate cause of the accident was that the track worker did not move clear of the line in response to a warning sounded by an approaching train.

RAIB’s investigation identified a number of factors that contributed to the accident:

  • the unfamiliarity of some of the workers with the area and lack of local knowledge of the staff involved in planning the work
  • the way in which the worker and his supervisor worked with each other
  • deficiencies in the safety management system of Carillion Rail (the rail division of Carillion Construction Ltd), in particular the way in which this project was managed in its early stages
  • the absence of clear guidance in the Rule Book about lookout duties around junctions.

Some of the factors relevant to this accident were the subject of recommendations arising from previous RAIB investigations into accidents to track workers. These recommendations, and the status of the actions taken by the railway industry to implement them, are detailed in the report. However, RAIB has made three new recommendations targeted at Carillion Construction Ltd, recommending it to:

  • review its processes for the mobilisation of projects following the award of contracts
  • revise its operating procedures to enable staff to become familiar with areas they will be working in, before the work starts
  • review the safety management system in use of the North London Line Rail Infrastructure project.

Response to recommendations:

  • RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body
  • RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses.

RAIB Recommendation response for Dalston Junction

Published 10 December 2014