Report 04/2012: Boiler incident on the Kirklees Light Railway

Boiler incident on the Kirklees Light Railway, 3 July 2011.


A steam locomotive hauling a passenger train on the Kirklees Light Railway on 3 July 2011 ran low on water in the boiler. The train crew did not take prompt action to deal with the situation and the boiler overheated, damaging the locomotive and giving rise to a risk of injury to the train crew if the overheated metal had ruptured.

The cause of the incident was that the driver did not ensure that sufficient water was put into the boiler during the journey and did not remove the fire from the locomotive when he realised the water had run low. The driver had just completed his training for driving steam locomotives. The underlying cause was that the Kirklees Light Railway’s safety management system was inadequate to deal with the risks arising from operation of a steam railway.

Two recommendations have been made to the Kirklees Light Railway concerning their safety management system and operating procedures.

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 Kirklees

Published 10 December 2014