Rail Accident Investigation Branch report

Collision of a train with a demolished footbridge, Barrow upon Soar

Early on the morning of 01 February 2008, at Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire, the 06:13 hrs Nottingham to Norwich train collided with debris from a footbridge that had been knocked down by the raised body of a tipper lorry a short time earlier. The train derailed and continued on for 170 metres.

The cab of the train was severely damaged due to it colliding with the debris from the footbridge. The driver of the train, the guard and one of the passengers were taken to hospital. The guard and the passenger were released later that day and the driver early the next morning. The cab of the tipper lorry was also severely damaged; however, its driver escaped injury.

The immediate cause of the accident was that the train was unable to stop before it hit the debris from the footbridge. The footbridge was demolished because the raised body of the tipper lorry collided with it. The driver forgot to fully lower the body of the tipper because he was distracted from his normal routine by having to unlock the cab passenger door to allow access for a member of railway staff.

As a consequence of this accident, the RAIB has made recommendations targeted at Network Rail that relate to:

  • the assessment of risks during transit operation of road vehicles on their land near to the running line.
  • a review of arrangements to ensure that correct protection is used when undertaking work on or near the running line.

The RAIB has also recommended that the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) examines designing trains to mitigate the consequences of derailment.

080925-R182008-BarrowUponSoar.pdf (3,813.43 kb)

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