RAIB REPORT INTO EMBANKMENT WASHOUT UNDER A PASSENGER TRAIN AT HADDISCOE

Our ref: HSR/2/1

Head Office Circular: NP/150/23

25th August 2023

To: The Secretary

ALL BRANCHES

REGIONAL COUNCILS

 

Dear Colleague,

 

RAIB REPORT INTO EMBANKMENT WASHOUT UNDER A PASSENGER TRAIN AT HADDISCOE

 

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB)’s investigation found that Network Rail was not aware that water was entering the railway at this location. RAIB also found that Network Rail’s flood risk management processes were not effective at warning that the track at Haddiscoe was at serious risk of flooding.

 

At about 07:45 hrs on Sunday 30th January 2022, a passenger train, which was travelling from Norwich to Lowestoft, ran on to a washed out section of track between Reedham and Haddiscoe stations. The train, which was crewed by a driver and a guard, was carrying five passengers. The driver had seen that the track was flooded ahead of the train and so brought it to a stand. Once the train had stopped, the driver noticed that the ballast was washing away under the train. While the driver was preparing to drive back towards Reedham, the situation worsened and a section of ballast washed away, leaving a large void under the track on which the train was standing. As the driver moved the train it started to lean over. The driver therefore made the decision that it was too dangerous to continue moving the train, and they and the guard evacuated the five passengers.

 

RAIB’s investigation found that Network Rail was not aware that water was entering the railway at this location. RAIB also found that Network Rail’s flood risk management processes were not effective at warning that the track at Haddiscoe was at serious risk of flooding.

 

Underlying factors included that Network Rail was not effectively managing the risks to its assets and services associated with third party flood defences. A possible underlying factor was that no joint strategy was in place to protect the railway from flooding at this location due to the Environment Agency and Network Rail not effectively collaborating.

 

As a result of the investigation RAIB has made five recommendations.

 

The second and third recommendations are made to Network Rail and concern the integration of flood risk into their weather management strategies.

 

The fourth recommendation is intended to improve interaction between Network Rail and those organisations responsible for tidal flood defences in England and Wales, while the final recommendation is intended to improve these interactions in Scotland.

 

At its meeting on 24th August 2023, your National Executive Committee noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee:

 

We note the report on file from RAIB.

 

The General Secretary is instructed to write to Network Rail noting the findings of the RAIB report and that these shortcomings should previously have been addressed in the aftermath of the Carmont tragedy.

 

In relation to such matters, we note that the ORR in their recently published Annual Report of Health and Safety on Britain’s Railways noted that “continuing with, in effect, the status quo may lead to a failure to learn the lessons of Carmont.”

 

Branch and affected members to be informed by email and text.

 

I am acting in line with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Michael Lynch

General Secretary

www.rmt.org.uk/healthandsafety