Report 13/2008: Operating irregularity, Aylesbury

Two trains in the same section at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, 27 August 2007.


An operating irregularity occurred at 10:38 hrs on 27 August 2007 on the single line between Aylesbury and Claydon L&NE Junction. A freight locomotive was standing on the single line without the necessary authority. A passenger train was then signalled onto the same line. The passenger train driver saw the locomotive ahead in time to stop without significant risk of collision.

The RAIB investigation identified a mistake by the shunter, a member of the freight train staff, as the immediate cause of the incident. The causal factor was poor safety-critical communications between the train staff and signaller. Contributory factors included issues relating to the training and rostering of local staff and a conflict between the local instructions for the line and the rule book.

RAIB has made two recommendations to English Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS) and other freight operators. These recommendations concern instructions for operating single lines and the rostering of staff to locations.

RAIB has made one recommendation to Network Rail and the operators who use the line. This recommendation concerns the operating instructions for this line.

In addition, RAIB has made one recommendation targeted at the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB). This recommendation concerns the dissemination of lessons learnt from operating incidents.

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 Aylesbury

Published 10 December 2014