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UK
Hatfield Derailment
Report says broken rail most likely cause of disaster

  : Saturday October 21, 2000
A broken
Hatfield
photo : itn
A broken rail is the most likely cause of the 115 mph derailment
rail, caused by a track defect is the most likely cause of the Hatfield derailment according to a report from the Health and Safety Exectutive.
The HSE's investigation has so far found no evidence that either the signalling system nor the rolling stock were at fault. The report stresses that the investigation is still ongoing and "it would be unwise to draw any final conclusions".

Four people were killed and 30 injured in the derailment which occurred on 17 October 2000. The 12:10 London, Kings Cross to Leeds train left the rails near Hatfield station about 16 miles north of London. The Great North Eastern Railways Intercity 225 trainset was travelling at or close to the line speed of 115 mph.

The train, an Intercity 225 set was carrying about 100 passengers and 10 staff. The train comprised of a Class 91 locomotive, 8 Mark IV passengers carriages, a buffet car, and a Driving Trailer.

The findings of the HSE's investigation so far are:

  • there is obvious and significant evidence of a rail failure.
  • there is evidence of significant metal fatigue damage to the rails in the vicinity of the derailment.
  • the only evidence to date of wheel damage is consistent with the wheels hitting defective track.
  • there is no evidence, so far, of a prior failure of rolling stock.
  • The most extensive damage appears to have been caused by derailed carriages impacting line side structures.
  • the signalling system appears to have played no part in the derailment.
  • parts of the rail and train components have yet to be recovered.
Hatfield accident site Diagram of the accident site (HSE)
Click to Enlarge

The report also states that the matter of broken rails has been a concern for the HSE for some time.

Railtrack, the infrastructure operator has already imposed speed reductions on stretches of track throughout the system that are similar to the site of the Hatfield derailment.

TRAIN DERAILMENT AT HATFIELD, 17 OCTOBER 2000 First HSE interim report
Statement from Railtrack


Join the discussion

Earlier story
Broken rail suspected in Hatfield crash
18/10/200



Links

Health & Safety Executive (HSE)

GNER

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This file last updated: Wednesday, 25-Oct-2000 04:33:26 EDT
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