At around 23:55 hrs on 8 January 2011, a tamper driver walking to a tamper in a work site on the East Coast Main Line, was struck a glancing blow by a passenger train travelling at 100 mph (161 km/h). The tamper driver took evasive action when alerted by the train’s horn, and suffered minor injuries.
The investigation found that the tamper driver, who entered the railway in contravention of rules and his training, wrongly assumed that the line he was walking on was closed to normal traffic. The unsafe actions of the driver were found to have been a causal factor. However, the investigation also found that the driver did not have the information he needed to get to his tamper in safety.
Industry practices in which it was not uncommon for drivers to walk to trains in work sites without having first received a safety briefing were found to be an underlying cause of this accident. There were also deficiencies in the organisational arrangements for providing the tamper driver with information.
RAIB has made a recommendation relating to the procedures followed by Network Rail and its contractors for providing train crews with safety briefings when accessing work sites.
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.