Report 14/2006: Derailment near Liverpool Central underground station

Derailment of a passenger train near Liverpool Central station, 26 October 2005


At 17.41 on 26 October 2005, the 17.06 Merseyrail passenger train from West Kirby travelling around the Liverpool Loop derailed about 200m on the approach to Liverpool Central Station. Nobody was injured as a result, and the 119 passengers on board plus two train crew were evacuated safely.

The RAIB investigation identified the immediate cause of the accident was the widening of the train gauge during the passage of the train because the track was in poor condition and eight factors were identified as being either casual or contributory.

Since the derailment occurred, Network Rail has carried out a complete renewal of the track infrastructure between Liverpool Lime Street and Liverpool Central including the area in which the derailment took place.

RAIB made eight recommendations as a result of the accident, seven of which are aimed at Network Rail and one at Merseyrail. They relate to the following areas:

  • The interaction between the trains and track 
  • The competence of track maintenance staff 
  • Ensuring sufficient resources are provided 
  • The use of tie-bars to control track gauge 
  • Cleaning the trackbed 
  • Improving the emergency lighting system fitted to class 507 and 508 trains

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 Liverpool Central

Published 10 December 2014