Derailment of a passenger train in Carmont August 2020
By now I am sure we are all aware of the tragic incident of the passenger train near Carmont nearly 2 years ago (12 August 2020). If not, well you are in the right place to find out more so keep reading. The train collided with debris that had been washed from a drain onto the track after some very heavy rain. And as a result, tragically 3 people lost their lives and the remaining 6 people on the train were injured. Below is an extract taken from a synopsis that was taken following the incident. (The Rail Accident Investigation Branch)
‘Train 1T08 derailed because it struck debris washed out from a 15-metre length of steeply sloping drainage trench. This is evidenced by CCTV images from the train, grooves cut through the debris, the absence of derailment marks on the track on the approach to the debris and marks indicating that the leading wheelset had derailed immediately after the debris field.’
‘S5 The debris mainly comprised gravel with some cobbles and covered the down line for a length of about 10 metres. Estimates made by RAIB after the derailment indicate the maximum depth of debris on the left and right railheads was probably around 170 mm and 135 mm respectively before the train ran through it.’
Why was so much debris washed out onto the tracks? Well according to online sources, the drain system was NOT installed correctly, and the installation did not match the design drawings with an added extra of an artificial bridge this was also not part of the design. The drainage pipe was inside a trench which was filled with gravel, now this wouldn’t have been a massive problem in lower gradient drainage systems but because the slope was so steep it only increased the chances of the gravel being washed away in situations like these.
At KITE our purpose is to create a safe environment on your network. Now if there was better access the track workers may have been able to spot a huge issue like this. It would also help the workers to maintain the track and keep it spotless to avoid any further incidents.
If you want to have a deeper read of the incident, click the link below.
All credit of pictures goes to RAIB