At around 10.44pm on Monday March 23, 2020, the 9.05pm Cardiff Central to Birmingham New Street service collided with a derailed class 66 locomotive at the end of a siding, south of the station of Bromsgrove. The passenger train sustained significant damage along one side of all three vehicles, although it did not derail. There were four passengers and two crew on board the passenger train and none reported injuries.
The locomotive had just come into the siding and was to act as a ‘banking’ locomotive, helping heavy freight trains up the 1 in 37 gradient from Lickey, north of Bromsgrove station. It derailed after crossing the buffer stop at the end of the siding and came to rest fouling the main track. The locomotive driver was not injured in the collision, although the locomotive sustained damage to the corner of the lead cab.
The driver did not stop the locomotive before it reached the buffer stop because he was distracted from the driving task by personal issues arising from the national COVID-19 lockdown announced earlier in the evening .
The collision occurred because there was insufficient time between the derailment of the locomotive and the arrival of the passenger train for the alarm to sound and the passenger train to be stopped.
The RAIB has recommended that Network Rail review its processes and standards for managing the risk of collision at buffer stops on platformless terminal tracks.
The RAIB has also identified three learning points for drivers, relating to compliance with mobile phone policies in the driver’s cab, informing signallers in the event of an accident and the safe exit of trains during ‘an incident.
Response to recommendations:
The RAIB will periodically update the status of the recommendations as communicated by the relevant security authority or public body
The RAIB may add comments, particularly if we have concerns about these responses.