On Monday 22 May a freight train was conveying a discharged nuclear flask from Willesden Brent Yard to Sizewell on a freight-only branch line. As the train crossed over Bratts Blackhouse No1 User Worked Crossing at 19 mph, it was in collision with a road vehicle. No one was injured in the collision. The train was not derailed but suffered some minor damage, and the road vehicle was also damaged.
The immediate cause of the accident was that the motorist did not stop at the designated Stop Board and drove directly onto the crossing into the path of the approaching train without looking. The main causal factors were the gates at the level crossing, which had been left open for some time and could not be closed, and the driver’s failure to look for approaching trains because he had never encountered a train at the crossing before.
RAIB has made eight recommendations aimed at:
- communication of safety information to users of user worked crossings;
- inspection and maintenance of user worked crossings;
- improvements to Bratts Blackhouse No1 User Worked Crossing signage;
- warning to permit the safe use of Bratts Blackhouse No1 crossing;
- the need to preserve evidence following an accident that has been notified to the RAIB;
- signallers’ awareness of power supply failures.
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.