Rail (UK)

RAIB or­ders Hi­tachi to as­sess IEP crash­wor­thi­ness after de­pot ac­ci­dent

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The Rail Ac­ci­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch has or­dered Hi­tachi to re­visit the as­sess­ment of its Class 80x trains against the re­quire­ments of the crash­wor­thi­ness stan­dard.

It fol­lows the pub­li­ca­tion of RAIB’s re­port into a shunt­ing ac­ci­dent at Neville Hill de­pot on Novem­ber 13 2019, when LNER 800109 col­lided with LNER 43300 and de­railed ( RAIL 893).

The ‘800’ was de­railed and both trains suf­fered struc­tural dam­age (the ‘43’ was sub­se­quently writ­ten off). No­body was in­jured.

RAIB also rec­om­mends that

LNER as­sesses the risk of an ‘80x’ in­volved in a low-speed col­li­sion, while RSSB (for­merly the Rail

Safety and Stan­dards Board) must con­sider whether it is ap­pro­pri­ate for the crash­wor­thi­ness stan­dard to be mod­i­fied.

RAIB con­cluded that there is a risk of de­rail­ment when two ‘80x’ trains col­lide at 10mph. LNER needs to cor­rect its un­der­stand­ing of the set-up of the train man­age­ment sys­tem (TMS) on its Hi­tachi trains, and en­sure that doc­u­men­ta­tion pro­vided by the train man­u­fac­turer hasn’t led to other safety is­sues.

The ac­ci­dent oc­curred when 800109 came to a brief stop just over one sec­ond be­hind the High Speed Train (which had be­gun to move onto the de­pot).

The driver of the ‘800’, know­ing his train had passed the Au­to­matic Power Changeover sys­tem (APCO) balise and keen to re­in­state APCO as soon as pos­si­ble, turned his at­ten­tion to the TMS screen. At the same time, he re­alised the

HST was mov­ing and de­cided to fol­low it. He moved his power brake con­troller slightly to de­mand a low level of trac­tive ef­fort, while con­tin­u­ing to fo­cus on the TMS.

Un­aware that his ‘800’ had gained greater speed than in­tended, the driver com­pleted re­in­stat­ing APCO us­ing the TMS touch screen, but when he looked up he re­alised the HST was now only a few me­tres away. He ap­plied the emer­gency brake, but it was too late and the ‘800’ (trav­el­ling at 15mph) col­lided with the HST (mov­ing at 5mph).

Dur­ing the ac­ci­dent, the trail­ing bo­gies of the sec­ond and third ve­hi­cle and the trail­ing wheelset of the fourth ve­hi­cle on the

‘800’ de­railed to the right in the di­rec­tion of travel.

The HST and ‘800’ were on the same stretch of track, which is al­lowed un­der per­mis­sive work­ing rules.

It was found that the driver iso­lated APCO in Leeds sta­tion (from where the ‘800’ had trav­elled) when he could not change the head­code us­ing the TMS touch screen.

RAIB said he was un­able to do this be­cause the method he was try­ing to use, a method LNER be­lieved suit­able, was in­cor­rect. LNER’s un­der­stand­ing of the TMS came prin­ci­pally from doc­u­ments sup­plied by Hi­tachi in late 2017 and early 2018, as well as a tablet app repli­cat­ing the be­hav­iour of the TMS. The main source doc­u­ment was the train oper­a­tion man­ual, on which LNER de­vel­oped the train­ing cour­ses for its driv­ers.

RAIB also con­firmed that this was the ‘800’ driver’s third un­ac­com­pa­nied driv­ing turn on the class, and ev­i­dence in­di­cated that he felt un­fa­mil­iar with the new tech­nol­ogy. A driver with 39 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence, he had also been off work for most of the pre­vi­ous two years hav­ing been granted com­pas­sion­ate leave, fol­lowed by sick leave after a ma­jor oper­a­tion.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions also found that the same amount of trac­tion he ap­plied on 800109 would have re­sulted in an HST reach­ing 7mph, in­stead of the 15mph the Hi­tachi train achieved.

A Hi­tachi spokesman told RAIL:

“Safety is Hi­tachi Rail’s top pri­or­ity. We have en­gaged con­struc­tively with RAIB and the No­ti­fied Body, and will con­tinue to work with rel­e­vant rail bod­ies to up­hold the in­dus­try’s high stan­dards.”

An LNER spokesman told RAIL:

“LNER wel­comes the pub­li­ca­tion of this re­port by RAIB and fully ac­cepts the find­ings. We are work­ing through the ac­tions and learn­ing points that this re­port high­lights and we will en­sure that any lessons learned are dis­cussed with other op­er­a­tors.”

A spokesman for the Of­fice of Rail and Road said: “The train met the es­tab­lished stan­dards and we did not iden­tify any con­cerns about the crash­wor­thi­ness of the ve­hi­cle.

“RAIB is right to iden­tify a rec­om­men­da­tion to as­sess lo­ca­tions where there is a par­tic­u­lar risk of a low-speed col­li­sion, but we have not iden­ti­fied the need to take ad­di­tional reg­u­la­tory ac­tion in re­spect of the use of these trains.”

The ‘800’ is due back in traf­fic early next year.

 ?? RAIB/NET­WORK RAIL. ?? The dam­age to LNER 800109 (left) and 43300 (right), fol­low­ing the col­li­sion at Neville Hill on Novem­ber 13 2019.
RAIB/NET­WORK RAIL. The dam­age to LNER 800109 (left) and 43300 (right), fol­low­ing the col­li­sion at Neville Hill on Novem­ber 13 2019.

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