At approximately 18:38 hrs on 22 November 2008, an East Midlands Trains passenger train travelling from Worksop to Nottingham struck and fatally injured a woman and her grandson on the crossing.
The immediate cause of the accident was the pedestrians being unaware of the oncoming train as they crossed in front of it.
Significant factors in the accident were:
- the point at which pedestrians make their decision to cross was not clearly identified
- there was no appreciation that crossings in darkness present different risks to pedestrians compared within during daylight hours
- the risk to pedestrians presented by tram operations running parallel to the Network Rail line was not considered by any party.
Network Rail made changes to the crossing in May 2009, subsequent to the accident, which have improved the visibility of trains for pedestrians, and reduced the time to cross the line. As a result RAIB has made no recommendations about the crossing layout.
As a consequence of this accident, RAIB has made eight new recommendations. Three are directed to Network Rail, two to Network Rail in conjunction with Nottingham Express Transit, two to Network Rail in conjunction with Nottinghamshire County Council, one to Network Rail in conjunction with Nexus (the operator of the Tyne and Wear metro) and one to the Rail Safety and Standards Board. The recommendations concern;
- provision of signs at the crossing
- assessment of the lighting and of possible additional protective measures at the crossing
- crossing inspections in the hours of darkness
- re-assessment of crossings when circumstances at its location have changed
- evaluating the risk from the operation of trains with varying luminous intensity from their headlights
- applying the lessons of this accident to two similar crossings in Tyne and Wear.
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.