Track and signals repaired after Sheffield cement train derailment
Network Rail has confirmed that a Freightliner Heavy Haul cement train that derailed in Sheffield station early on November 11 caused significant damage.
Sixteen of the 34 PCA wagons that formed the 0213 HopeDewsbury cement train derailed, with one tipping on its side ( RAIL 918).
The train, hauled by FL 66603, was running at slow speed on a through line between Platforms 1 and 2 when the derailment occurred.
Effectively blocking the majority of platforms, the derailment resulted in the cancellation of dozens of passenger services. NR was able to reopen some lines by midday, allowing a limited number of trains to run through the far eastern side of the station.
Speaking at the site on the day of the accident, NR North and
East Route Director Matt Rice acknowledged: “The damage is significant. In simple terms, we’re going to have to put back the railway underneath the train. It looks like it has been pretty much destroyed and it’s going to be quite complex.
“Naturally, travel is for key workers only, so we are not managing huge numbers of passengers. But people do need the railway, so we need to get it back open as soon as we can.”
Rail Accident Investigation Branch inspectors began gathering evidence on site. At one stage a cordon was in place around the rear portion of the train, close to where the through line rejoins the Platform 1 road. The on-site phase of the RAIB’s activity was completed the day after the derailment.
While Network Rail was able to move some of the four-wheel, 16ft wheelbase wagons by rail, the recovery operation was complicated by the need to empty the loaded wagons which had left the track.
Sheffield’s inner ring road alongside the station had to be partly closed to allow plant with heavy duty vacuums to be parked up, and hoses on extendable arms were able to reach the stricken vehicles over the station wall. Once emptied, the wagons were lifted by rail-mounted crane.
As well as being a focus for Northern’s local services in South Yorkshire, Sheffield is also the main terminus of East Midlands Railway northbound trains from St Pancras International and is served by a substantial number of CrossCountry and TransPennine Express services, all of which were affected.
By the weekend of November 14/15, further platforms had reopened but delays remained to EMR and Northern trains.
NR completed the reinstatement of track and repairs to signalling equipment overnight on November 16, with the timetable returning to normal the following day.