At around 19:25 hrs on 4 January 2010, a passenger train from Barnstaple arriving in platform 1 at Exeter St Davids station collided with the rear of another passenger train which was stationary in the platform. The driver of the train from Barnstaple had applied the brakes to stop behind the other train, but the train did not stop and a collision occurred at a speed of approximately 11 mph (18 km/h). The collision caused injuries to six passengers and three members of staff. Four passengers were taken to hospital although none of them were detained. Both trains suffered minor damage.
The immediate cause of the accident was that the application of the brakes did not stop the Barnstaple train before it collided with the Waterloo train.
The causal factor which led to the derailment was due to a length of low adhesion between the crossing and the end of the platform.
RAIB has made one recommendation to train operators concerning highlighting within their route risk assessments, route learning and briefing material the possibility of drivers encountering unexpected low adhesion conditions at crossings, and the risk arising from wheel slide where hazards exist immediately beyond a level crossing.
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.