Grayrigg report released

03 September 2007

Network Rail has today released the industry report to the Grayrigg rail disaster that took place on 23rd February 2007.

The report explains the incident, the cause and the contributory factors which led to one passenger dying and 22 others needing hospital treatment.

The main cause of the derailment has been confirmed as a fault with a set of points. The report states;

‘Deterioration of components in the stretcher bar system of 2B facing points at Lambrigg GF led to the left hand switch rail becoming disconnected from the right hand switch rail, leading to an uncommanded movement towards the left hand stock rail, enabling at least two wheel sets of 1S83, the 17.15 hrs Euston to Glasgow service, to make contact with the left hand switch rail and run into derailment, whilst the right hand switch and stock rails remained correctly located and locked.’

The report also confirmed that a lack in the asset inspection and maintenance in the Grayrigg area resulted in the deterioration of points not being identified.

Most importantly the report contains recommendations and action plans which Network Rail are putting into place to ensure this situation is not repeated, these include;

  • Reviewing the design of points and components
  • Review procedures of maintenance teams in respect of points systems
  • Review training programme and competencies relating to points systems.

Keith Norman, ASLEF General Secretary has said that ‘once again Network Rail has let everyone down. They promised after Potters Bar that this would never happen again.

The fatality and injuries could have been much worse if the driver had not acted in the way that he did.

Whilst John Armitt did the decent thing and resigned, there are others in Network Rail who should hold their heads down in shame.

The sooner our rail network is bought back under control of one governing body, the better our railway systems will be.’

A full summary of the report can be found on the Network Rail website.

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