Petteril Bridge Junction derailment – RAIB update

21 October 2022
Rail Accident Investigation Branch issues update about its investigation into the derailment of a freight train on October 19.

At about 20:03 on October 19 2022, the 17:15 Clitheroe to Carlisle Yard freight service derailed at Petteril Bridge Junction, near Carlisle. The freight train involved was formed of a Class 66 locomotive and 14 loaded cement wagons. Five of these wagons derailed. One of the derailed wagons subsequently entered the river Petteril.

No injuries were caused by the accident, which led to substantial damage to railway infrastructure and some of the vehicles involved. The passenger lines from Newcastle to Carlisle were blocked as result of the accident.

The RAIB said, "Currently available evidence indicates that the derailment was almost certainly a result of a wheelset with false flanges encountering a set of switches that are part of the junction. False flanges are associated with the flat areas on wheel treads which can result when rail wheels stop rotating while a vehicle is running."

Petteril Bridge Junction derailment – RAIB update

The RAIB has said its investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events which led to the accident, including consideration of track conditions, the condition of the wagons, wagon characteristics, the status of the train’s braking systems and "any underlying management factors".

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Petteril Bridge Junction derailment – RAIB update

The RAIB added, "Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road. We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website."

Further details on the incident can be found on the RAIB's website.

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