On 31 October 2006 two self-propelled track maintenance machines, a tamper and a ballast regulator, collided near the site of the former station at Badminton, Gloucestershire. The collision occurred on a section of the line that was closed to normal traffic for track renewal work. The tamper was travelling at approx 35mpn and the ballast regulator was stationary. All four members of staff on board the machines were injured, two of them seriously.
The immediate cause of the accident was the driver of the tamper not controlling his speed or reacting to the presence of the stationary regulator on the line ahead. Causal factors were the fatigue experienced by the driver, and the running of the tamper and regulator separately, rather than coupling them together. Contributory factors were the custom of maintenance machines being driven at more than 20mph in work sites, and the lack of a defined speed limit for these movements.
RAIB has made four recommendations as a result of the report, aimed at:
- keeping work sites as short as possible
- detecting and dealing with incidents of overspeeding
- operating on-track machines in tandem/multiple within possessions and work sites where practicable
- the safety of internal fittings of track maintenance machines.
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.