RAIB ends inquiry into overspeeding

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has ended its inquiry into three cases of train drivers apparently ignoring Blanket Emergency Speed Restrictions which had been imposed in north west England and Scotland because of stormy weather on 21 February.

Although the trains had been driven too fast for the conditions, there were no accidents.

One of the incidents involved an up Caledonian Sleeper from Glasgow Central which was driven at 67mph (108km/h) through a section south of Penrith on which a 50mph (80mph) emergency restriction applied. The GBRf driver had booked on remotely and hadn’t been told about the restrictions south of the border. 

Later on that morning, the Avanti West Coast 06.15 service from Birmingham New Street had been driven at up to 125mph (200km/h) between Wolverhampton and Warrington. In this case the driver had thought there was no BESR in force except between Penrith and Cove level crossing, north of Carlisle. In fact, there was a BESR along the whole of the WCML in the north west except the Penrith-Cove section, and the driver had been misinformed when booking on.

A couple of hours later, the 07.09 ScotRail train from Glasgow Central to Carlisle via the G&SW line had run through an area at the normal line speed of 70mph (113km/h) where again the BESR was 50mph. In this case, the driver had not been informed about an extension to the original BESR over the section between Sanquhar and Thornhill.

The RAIB said it has now closed its investigation, and has written to the Office of Rail and Road, Network Rail and operators, telling them what had happened. It added that ‘these incidents also highlight different issues surrounding the communication of BESRs to drivers, including a potential for error where BESRs are introduced but without GSM-R broadcasts being made to drivers’ and that there was a need for ‘safety critical communications to provide clear and unambiguous information’.

source= http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2022/04/04-raib-ends-inquiry-into-overspeeding.html

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