At 06:07 hrs on 5 February 2011 a derailment occurred close to Dryclough Junction, in Halifax. Both vehicles of a two-car passenger train were derailed when the train ran into stone rubble on the track. The rubble had fallen from a retaining wall beside the line which had collapsed during the night. There were eight passengers and two crew members on the train and nobody was injured in the accident.
The collapse of the wall followed a period of heavy rain.
The local authority highways department had reported cracks in the pavement behind the wall to Network Rail on several occasions, most recently in October 2010, and had closed the footpath as a precaution.
The investigation found deficiencies in the examination of the wall by Network Rail’s examination contractor and in the way in which Network Rail handled reports from Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council concerning problems with the wall. The limited extent of repairs made to the wall in 2006 also contributed to its failure.
RAIB has made five recommendations to Network Rail, relating to the structures examination process, the control of minor civil engineering construction works and the system for dealing with reports from third parties of problems with Network Rail infrastructure.
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.