Signal transmitted to danger and almost missed at Sileby Junction
At around 5:29 a.m. on May 5, 2021, a train consisting of machines used for reprofiling (grinding) the rails, traveling on the slow descending line near Sileby, passed the endangered LR477 signal by about 350 meters. The signal was in danger because a train of empty cars, traveling in the opposite direction, crossed the slow descending line ahead to change from the fast rising line to the slow rising line.
The rail crushing train came to a stop, fouling the junction through which the empty train had passed, less than ten seconds earlier.
The RAIB’s preliminary examination revealed that there were no technical faults in the trains or the signaling equipment. The rail grinding train brakes were applied by its driver and the train protection and warning system (TPWS) intervention, but this intervention did not stop the train within the safe passing distance. , and allowed it to reach the point of conflict at the junction.
Our investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events that led to the incident. It will also consider:
Managing the skill and physical fitness of the grinding train driver
Signage design on the Leicester line section at Loughborough
The effectiveness of the TPWS under circumstances where train braking rates are lower than those used in the system design calculations
Any relevant underlying factors, including the railway industry’s response to RAIB recommendations made in previous reports regarding managing fatigue of train drivers
Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the rail industry or by the industry regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.
We will publish our findings, including any recommendations for improving safety, upon completion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.
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