Safety Advice – NRA23-14 – Action required following a serious incident
Temporary road rail access panels left on an open line
Location: Stoke Tunnel near Grantham, East Coast Main Line.
On the 19th December 2023 at approximately 01:00 an overhead line team planned to undertake a B10 inspection at the south side of Stoke Tunnel near Grantham, East Coast Main Line.
A Unimog MEWP machine was required to work from the Up Fast and therefore manoeuvred across the permanent Road Rail Access Point (RRAP) on the Up Slow.
The team attempted to On Track the machine to the Up Fast utilising a temporary RRAP, which was unsuccessful due to inclement weather.
The team decided on site to put the machine back onto the Up Slow and transit the machine south to transition to the Up Fast.
The temporary RRAP was not removed immediately due to the intention that the team would off track the machine at this place again following completion of the work.
The machine started to malfunction on site and the team decided that it was a high risk of failure and decided not undertake the work and to return the machine back to Ponton Yard.
In order to get the machine back as quick as possible, the machine was egressed from the Up Slow, not the originally planned Up Fast where the temporary RRAP was situated.
The machine was off tracked at the permanent RRAP on the Up Slow, the temporary RRAP on the Up Fast was inadvertently left in place, the team left site at 04:00.
At 06:00 LNER service 1Y00 travelling from York to London Kings Cross struck the temporary RRAP travelling at line speed.
The driver of the train initially reported a train failure to which the assisting locomotive was deployed to recover the failed train.
Upon travelling to the stricken train, it discovered two pieces of the temporary RRAP on the Up Fast and Up Slow which was subsequently confirmed to have caused the train damage.
An investigation is currently underway.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED
- Any materials being left on site must be removed from the running line(s), secured (where required) in a position of safety to prevent damage to operating services.
- Where practical an electronic means of tracking equipment should be used, such as tagging devices.
- When accessing an RRV you should try and use a permanent or semipermanent RRAP (see NR/L2/RMVP/0200/P301 section 13)
- When handing back, the COSS is required to confirm the line is safe for the passage of trains.