Speed­ing train in­jured four

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

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

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