Speeding train injured four
A passenger and three members of staff were injured when a train went through a Peterborough junction at twice the speed limit, it has been revealed. The Virgin Trains East Coast passenger t r a i n passed through Fletton Junction on the East Coast Mainline at 51mph on September 11 last year – the limit on the section of track is just 25mph.
A report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the incident was caused because it was likely ‘thedriverhadforgottenabout the presence of the speed restriction because he was distracted and fatigued due to issues related to his family.’
While four people were hurt, the RAIB said the accident could have been much worse - and the train could even have derailed as a result.
The report said: “The incidentcouldhavehadmoreserious consequences if the train had derailed or overturned. The risk of this was present because the track layout was designed for a maximum speed of 27 mph.”
The report added: “Linesidesignsandin-cabwarnings may have contributed to him not responding appropriately as he approached the speed restriction and engineering controls did not prevent the overspeeding.
“Neither Virgin Trains East Coast, northedriver, had realised that family-related distraction and fatigue were likely to beaffectingthesafety of his driving.
“Virgin Trains East Coast route risk assessment hadnot recognised the overspeeding risks particular to Fletton Junction and Network Rail had not identified that a speed limit sign at the start of the speed restriction was smaller than required by its standards.”
Five recommendations were made, including improving signage, and enhancing the management of safety critical staffwithproblemsrelated to their home life.
A spokesman for Virgin Trains said they could not comment on what, if any, disciplinary action was taken against the driver, or if compensation had been paid.
The spokesman added: “Safety is our top priority and we welcome this report into improving train operators’ safety procedures. “We are now studying each of the recommendations in detail.”
A Virgin train negotiating Fletton Junction this week