On 14 April 2007 at about 01:00 hours, a Northern Ireland Railways’ (NIR) ultrasonic test train was travelling at approximately 49 mph when it derailed near Cromore, Antrim. No-one was hurt in the derailment, but the vehicle and track were damaged.
The immediate cause of the derailment was wheel unloading caused by the impact of hitting the regular dips on the track. There were three causal and three contributory factors to the derailment, which includes the excessive speed of the train, the condition of the track and the vehicle’s suspension.
The underlying cause was the lack of systematic process within NIR for the preparation and issue of the Weekly Operating Notice and Special Operating Instructions.
RAIB has made seven recommendations in relation to this incident. These are aimed at:
the process behind NIR’s issuing of Weekly Operating Notices and Special Operating Instructions
the suspension for that design of ultrasonic test vehicle
standards for track maintenance on NIR
communication between staff travelling at the front and back of locomotives on NIR.