Report 31/2009: Damage to trains at Penrith station and Eden Valley loop

Container doors hitting passenger trains at Penrith station and Eden Valley loop, 4 July 2009.


On 4 July 2009 a freight container train was travelling from Grangemouth, Scotland to Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal when two container doors came open and struck three passenger trains on the West Coast Main Line between 16:02 hrs and 16:27 hours. There were no casualties as a result of the collision however the container doors and the passenger trains were damaged.

The container doors had come open without being identified. The evidence indicates that it is most likely that the doors came open as a result of criminal action.

The collisions with the passenger trains occurred because there was no feature on the container or wagon to prevent open container doors from going out of the allowable space envelope for loads carried on the railway.

As a consequence of this accident, RAIB has made three recommendations targeted at freight operating companies. These cover the following areas:

  • changing the types of security seal to reduce the risk of container doors being opened
  • introducing measures to prevent open doors going out of the allowed space envelope.

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 Penrith and Eden Valley

Updates to this page

Published 10 December 2014