At about 15:16 hrs on 31 March 2008, a train travelling from Dundee to Bournemouth struck and fatally injured a pedestrian at Tackley Station level crossing in Oxfordshire. The pedestrian was using the crossing - which is also a bridleway - to reach the south-bound platform with the intention of catching a local train to Oxford.
The train was travelling at 90 mph / 145 kph and sounded its horn on the approach to the crossing.
The RAIB investigation identified that the immediate cause of the accident was the pedestrian stepping onto the crossing and into the path of the train.
Possible causal factors were the pedestrian mistaking a fast train for the stopping service which was due at about the same time, or being unaware of the train’s approach due to an obstruction created by a poorly sited fence.
A contributory factor related to the way in which crossing inspections were undertaken which meant that the need to improve visibility for crossing users was not recognised.
As a consequence of the accident, RAIB has made six recommendations targeted at Network Rail, as the owner of the crossing and infrastructure manager. Two of the recommendations are specific to Tackley crossing and the remainder relate to the management of unprotected crossings on the national network.
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.