Currents Home
Home

Articles

Gallery

Free Newsletter

Book Shop

Links

Site Map

Help Page

Search


Make your voice heard at the Danger Ahead! Forum

Sound off about this item


Currents

Currents
   

Hidden Dangers - 20% DISCOUNT
Nothing
Links

Engineers clear crash line
BBC Online 24/06/99

Crash train 'ran past red signal'
Yahoo/Independant 24/06/99

Driver's prompt action saves lives
The Times 24/06/99

Investigation starts into Cheshire train crash
ITN 23/06/99

Driver 'averts disaster'
BBC Online 23 Jun 99

Yahoo! News - Full Coverage:
Dozens Hurt in UK Rail Crash


Related items

Pall cast over rail safety : ITN reports
ITN 23/06/99

Unsafe signals fear
Report 25/01/99

Virgin Trains
Corporate Website

Railtrack

Current
Head on collision kills 31 in Indonesia
02 Sep 2001
Nothing
At least 8 killed in Belgian Train Crash
27 Mar 2001
Nothing
Train carrying empty nuclear flasks derailed
02 Mar 2001
Nothing
SELBY: Crash death toll "may be lower"
02 Mar 2001
Nothing
UK: Selby-13 dead in Selby train crash
28 Feb 2001
Nothing
UK: Several feared injured in Yorkshire train crash
28 Feb 2001
Nothing
COMMENT: Push - Pull - the Hidden Dangers
by R H State
Nothing

Seven days . . .
. . . web focus on rail safety and accidents in the last week
Search

Search currents
    
powered by FreeFind

Site search

UK: Missed danger signal said to have caused Virgin Trains crash

  : Thursday, June 24, 1999
A train which passed a danger signal caused the accident between a speeding Virgin Trains express and a
BBC - Engineers clear crash line
The class 87 overode the underframe of the Pacer

stationary commuter train yesterday, Wednesday June 23, 1999.

According to reports today, the driver of an empty First North Western train realised that he had passed a red signal and reported the SPAD (Signal Passed At Danger) to the control centre. However, his train had already passed onto the fast line and the warning was received too late to warn the 110 mph express of the danger.

The driver of the Virgin London - Glasgow express is being praised for his quick reactions in preventing a much more serious incident. The driver, Roy Eccles (56) spotted the train ahead of him and made an emergency brake application slowing the Virgin train to about 50 mph at the moment of impact.

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group has visited Mr Eccles in hospital where he was being treated for minor injuries.

The trains involved were the Virgin Trains 0635 London Euston to Glasgow Central service which was headed by a class 87 locomotive No 87027 'Wolf of Badenoch'. The FNW train consisted of 2 class 142 "Pacer" units Nos 142008 and 142003. The train was empty, travelling from Crewe to Manchester.

Thirty-one people were injured in the first four carriages of the express train which were derailed. The train's locomotive overode the underframe of the rear Pacer unit and entered the passenger compartment. The roof was split from the body sides which were severely damaged. The class 87 suffered considerably less damage and the driver escaped with minor injuries.

Investigations
Separate investigations into the cause of the accident have begun. One, an internal inquiry will be led by Railtrack and will include the operators of the trains involved. A second, independent inquiry will be undertaken by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). These inquiries will focus on the reason why the empty train crossed onto the fast line, effectively into the path of the express train.

There are several possibilities that investigators will examine. Was there a signalling fault? This may have given a driver a false indication so causing the conflicting train movement. Was it human error? It is possible that a driver may have misread a signal. The HSE inquiry is likely to examine the issue of Automatic Train Control (ATC) - a system that could stop a train automatically in the event of it passing a signal at danger - but not widely implemented on Britain's railway network.

A Railtrack spokesman told the media that it was hoped that the cause of the accident would be known "in a few weeks". The result of the HSE's investigation is likely to take considereably longer. The inquiry into the accident at Southall in December 1997 has been adjourned pending criminal prosecutions and is not scheduled to restart until September this year.

Earlier reports:

Virgin Trains high speed train crash - 23/6/99
High Speed train crash injures 29 - 23/6/99
45 injured in Virgin train crash - 23/6/99


Comment on this item...
Your name:
Your e-mail address:
Comments:

Erik's Rail News
ERN Headlines

Accidents   Features     7 Days   Gallery   Bookshop   SignalPost   Newsletter   Postcards   Guestbook   Forum   Links   Map   Search   Contact

This file last updated: Saturday, 04-Sep-1999 09:01:17 EDT
Copyright © David Fry 1999

Click Here!