On 12 January 2006 the 02:40 Thameslink service from Bedford to Brighton experienced difficulties when braking for the scheduled stop at Haywards Heath and over-ran the station by approximately 4 vehicle lengths. The train was set back into Haywards Heath and similar braking difficulties were experienced during this move. The train was terminated at Haywards Heath.
The immediate cause of the incident was the presence of an extraneous washer in the drumswitch, causing an electrical defect preventing the proper application of the brakes. A contributing factor was the difficulty in examining the front section of the drumswitch, where the defect occurred, which may have led to the presence of the washer being missed.
RAIB has made two recommendations as a result of its investigation:
- First Capital Connect (formerly Thameslink) and Southern to arrange for an inspection mirror to be used when examining the interior of the drumswitch. This recommendation has already been implemented.
- ALSTOM to review procedures to prevent loose material from interfering with the operation of the drumswitch
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.