On 5 February 2007 a bridge inspection unit working at the M20 was deployed over a railway bridge between Maidstone Barracks and Aylesford stations. The gantry on the bridge inspection unit was struck by a scheduled Southeastern service, causing significant damage to the leading carriage and wrecking the gantry. The train driver and the sole passenger were injured. Nobody was on the gantry at the time.
The railway line was open for normal rail services at the time and no possession had been granted to work on the railway. The incident was caused by a misunderstanding between the bridge inspector and the operator of the inspection unit.
RAIB has made six recommendations, all targeted at the contractor working on the highway. These are aimed at:
- staff briefing processes
- site supervision systems
- safety induction systems
- staff training.
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.