Report 04/2007: The blowback of a locomotive fire at Grosmont

The blowback of a locomotive fire at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, 16 April 2006.


On Sunday 16 April 2006 a locomotive hauling a passenger service on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway suffered a blowback of its fire south of Grosmont station. The blowback filled part of the footplate with flame for between 4 and 10 seconds. The locomotive driver suffered minor burns.

The immediate cause of the accident was a loss of forward draft at a time that the firehole doors were open. The loss of draft was caused by the failure of a blastpipe base/saddle plate weld that was made undersized when the locomotive was originally built, allowing the blast pipe to move out of line. There were two causal factors, eight contributory factors and two underlying causes identified.

RAIB has made nine recommendations as a result of its investigation. These cover:

  • the size, inspection and repair of blast pipe base/saddle plate welds;
  • provision for mechanical inspections when outsourcing work;
  • assessment of hazards to train crew and public in the development of maintenance schedules;
  • provision of first aid kits on minor railway locomotive footplates;
  • annealing of copper blower feed pipes; and
  • notification of incidents between the heritage sector and the mainline railway.

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.

RAIB recommendation response for Grosmont

Published 10 December 2014