15 October 2014
RMT Press Office
The derailment of a freight train at Camden Road last October has been blamed on a series of failures and operational issues which had all been raised repeatedly by rail union RMT, a damning report by the Rail Accident Investigation Board has confirmed.
The core issues in the report are:
1. The high turnover and loss of experienced staff
2. Poor and deteriorating condition of the track
3. Slippage on key schedules and thresholds for taking corrective action
4. Poor knowledge of the condition of the track at senior management level.
Similar issues had been raised by the RAIB in a recent report into the derailment of a freight train west of Gloucester which also happened last October.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The report of the RAIB into last year’s derailment at Camden Road must come as wake up call to the Government and the Office of Rail Regulation who continue to demand cuts to maintenance and staffing that leave serious risks out there on Britain’s railways. It was a miracle that the consequences of the Camden Road derailment weren’t even more serious but the incident proves that officials and accountants cannot be allowed to play fast and loose with the fundamental issues that govern rail safety.
“All of the issues at the heart of the RAIB report have been raised repeatedly by RMT from the loss of experience staff, to the condition of our tracks and through to the slippage of key maintenance and inspection schedules. This union refuses to be ignored by those in charge any longer and we are today demanding urgent action to address all the issues raised in the Camden Road and Gloucester derailment reports and that means an immediate halt to the McNulty-driven cuts.