Report 18/2008: Collision at Barrow upon Soar

Collision of a train with a demolished footbridge, Barrow upon Soar, 1 February 2008.


Early on the morning of 1 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, 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.

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

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 Barrow upon Soar

Published 10 December 2014