Report 17/2006: Derailment at Carlisle

Derailment of a Ballast Plough Brake Van at Carlisle, 6 February 2006.


On Monday 06 February 2006 a vehicle in an engineering train became derailed on a set of points at the north end of Carlisle station. All the wheels of a plough brake van at the rear of the train derailed. Minor damage was caused to the vehicle and the track, and there were no injuries.

The immediate cause of the derailment was the ballast plough at the leading end of the brake van coming into contact with an adjacent running rail on the approach to the points. Causal factors were the failure to engage the locking keys when stowing the plough after its previous use, and the lack of any process to ensure locking keys are put in place before moving the plough brake van.

RAIB has made six recommendations as a result of its investigation:

  • Two recommendations covering working procedures to prevent a recurrence of this incident 
  • Four recommendations to address poor practices that were observed during the investigation, but did not contribute to the 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 Carlisle

Published 10 December 2014