On 17 January at 17:14 hrs, a tram operated by Metrolink was approaching Pomona station from the north at low speed when it derailed. The derailment was caused by the poor condition of the track, which resulted in the leading wheelset being derailed.
There were no injuries to the passengers on board. However, the crowded conditions and location of the tram caused a slight delay in their evacuation, whilst they were led along a viaduct walkway to the station platform. The tram service was suspended until 19 January 2007 to allow the tram to be recovered and the track to be repaired.
Contributory factors include deficiencies in track inspection and maintenance, the design of the track and the contractual framework surrounding audits and repairs of the infrastructure.
RAIB has made five recommendations as a result of this incident. These include:
- contractual arrangements to ensure repairs are carried out on the Manchester Metrolink system
- revision of the Metrolink safety management system
- emergency equipment and evacuation of trams.
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.