At 1:30am on 5 December 2007, a road-rail vehicle (RRV) hauling a loaded trailer was unable to stop as it approached a work site where rock face repairs were taking place. Several site staff narrowly avoided injury by jumping clear. Although a low-speed collision occurred between the RRV and another RRV at the site, staff were not injured.
The RAIB investigation identified a number of immediate causal factors:
- the RRV’s trailer was not fitted with brakes adequate to stop it on the gradient
- there were poor weather conditions
- it was likely there were wood chippings on the track.
There were also a number of contributory factors, including:
- Network Rail did not advise their contractor of the gradient at the site
- the machine operator was not aware of the risk of rail contamination from other work going on at the site
- the machine was travelling too fast
- the road tyres of the vehicle were not inflated to the correct pressure
- the operator’s training did not cover how to deal with a braking emergency.
As a consequence of this incident, RAIB has made seven recommendations targeted at Network Rail and the companies who own or operate road-rail vehicles. These include:
- providing briefing information for road-rail vehicle operators
- putting in place competence systems and management for road-rail vehicle operators
- the provision of a risk assessment for RRVs
- the provision of service brakes on road-rail vehicle trailers
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.