On 12 September 2006 at approximately 06:03hrs, a ‘one’ train service from Norwich to Cambridge was travelling at 87 mph when it struck a dislodged ‘Holdfast’ level crossing surface panel at Croxton level crossing and derailed. The train ran for a further 463 metres before it stopped. There were no injuries on the train, but a car driver suffered a whiplash injury after colliding with the panel shortly before the train arrived. The line was closed for the day to allow repairs to the track and the fitting of a new panel in the level crossing.
The investigation identified that a tanker-trailer lorry had dislodged the panel nine minutes before the arrival of the train. This was because;
- the panel was inadequately supported because the panels became shorter due to road traffic loading and the sleepers under the crossing were incorrectly positioned
- an assessment of the application of the panels had not been carried out to required standards
- Croxton level crossing was not suitable, by Network Rail’s own processes, for the installation of a panel system
- maintenance crews had not acted appropriately after previous reports of the panel not being secure.
RAIB has made eleven recommendations relating to the installation and monitoring of panel level crossings.
Network Rail has carried out level crossing panel inspections to correct any such deficiencies on the network and improved staff training in the maintenance, standards and risks associated with these crossings.
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.