In the early hours of 10 August 2007, two wagons in a container train operated by Freightliner Group Ltd derailed at Duddeston Junction in Birmingham. No one was injured in the derailment. The wagons were travelling at 15 mph (24 km/h) at the time of the derailment. However, the derailed wagons obstructed one adjacent line and a container fell from one of the wagons onto another nearby line. Both adjacent lines were open to traffic and therefore the accident had the potential to be more serious.
The accident was a result of a combination of undetected twists in the track, and one of the derailed wagons having been loaded very unevenly.
RAIB has made six recommendations to Freightliner and two to Network Rail. The recommendations cover measures for improved detection of unevenly loaded container wagons, improved information on container wagons’ derailment resistance, and changes to the procurement process for wagons.
The issues relating to track maintenance in this accident are covered by a previous RAIB recommendation that resulted from RAIB’s recent investigation into a derailment at King Edward Bridge, Newcastle on Tyne, reported on in January 2008.