Sheffield train derailment caused by ineffective drainage

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AN ACCIDENT involving a Sheffield-bound train which derailed injuring two people was caused by an ineffective drain on land adjoining railway property, an investigation has concluded.

The incident occurred during a period of heavy rain on Friday, April 27 when the 11.25am service from Lincoln to Adwick, operated by Northern Rail, ran into a landslip near Retford.

There were 17 passengers and two crew aboard the train, which was travelling at 59 mph when it had to make an emergency stop. The driver and one passenger were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch found there was a build-up of water above a slope to the track. They discovered that drainage from this catchment area is reliant on a crest drain running along the edge of a field outside Network Rail’s boundary.

Investigators said that while the drain had been inspected in 2011, it had not been considered for improvement works under an initiative on lines across the region because it had neither been identified as a high priority, nor had there been any reports of problems with it.

Also, a drainage survey had not been completed for the location.

But the RAIB inspection of the drain revealed that the section that runs immediately above the slope was ineffective. Water had saturated the ground and filtered through the bank, causing the soil at the top of the bank to be washed down onto the track.

A spokesman for the RAIB said: “The cause of the landslip and subsequent derailment was the poor condition of the drain and its ineffectiveness in dealing with water flow from the surrounding area following wet weather.”