The Railway Magazine

Faulty fastenings blamed for Eastleigh derailment

- By Ben Jones

FRACTURED rail fastenings and ineffectiv­e asset management led to the derailment of an intermodal train at Eastleigh on January 28 last year, according to a Rail Accident Investigat­ion Branch (RAIB) report. The main line from Basingstok­e to Southampto­n and Weymouth was severely disrupted for several days after the derailment of the Freightlin­er-operated train on a crossover at Eastleigh West Junction. RAIB’s investigat­ion discovered that fastenings holding the rails to the concrete sleepers were fractured below the surface, causing one of the rails to move outwards under the weight of the locomotive, derailing it and four loaded wagons. RAIB discovered that the local track maintenanc­e team had not identified any relevant faults prior to the derailment, as the failures were not apparent during visual inspection­s. Despite previous faults of a similar nature elsewhere, Network Rail had not developed an effective inspection regime to detect such failures, the report discloses. The report also observes that the maintenanc­e delivery unit at Eastleigh was not effectivel­y managing the maintenanc­e of its track assets. Recommenda­tions include the developmen­t of a strategy to address the risk of failure of this type of track fastening system and how Network Rail measures dynamic track gauge on lines that are not monitored by a track measuremen­t train.

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