Passengers were thrown from their seats – and some injured p when a train approached Peterborough station at around 65mph – more than double the permitted speed.
The Railway Investigation Branch says that the incident happened at around 13:00 hrs on 4 May 2023.
The train involved was the 09:54 hrs Sunderland to King’s Cross service, operated by Grand Central.
It passed over three sets of points at Spital Junction on the northern approach to Peterborough station at a speed of around 65 mph (104 km/h).
“This was above the maximum permitted speed over the junction which is initially 30 mph (48 km/h) reducing to 25 mph (40 km/h),” says the investigation branch.
“The excessive speed over the points led to the train lurching sideways.
“This resulted in a number of minor injuries being sustained by passengers, with some being thrown from their seats.”
The Railway Investigation Branch is conducting an inquiry into the incident.
“The train subsequently came to a stand at Peterborough station under emergency braking,” said a spokesperson.
“The train did not derail during the incident, and subsequent inspections found that no damage was caused to the infrastructure of the railway, or to the vehicles.
“The train involved in the incident was not due to call at Peterborough.
“It had been approaching the station on a fast line, before being routed onto a slower line via the points where the overspeed occurred.
“The route onto this slower line was being displayed by the junction signal situated on the approach to the points.”
RAIB is also investigating an overspeed incident at this location which occurred on 17 April 2022.
“The report of this investigation will be published soon,” the spokesperson.
At around 10:20 hrs on 17 April 2022, the 08:20 hrs Newcastle to King’s Cross service, operated by Lumo, passed over three sets of points at the north end of Peterborough station at a speed of 75 mph (121 km/h).
This was above the maximum permitted speed limit for these points of 25 mph (40 km/h).
Passing over the points at this speed meant that the train suddenly lurched sideways.
The sudden movement of the train resulted in some passengers being thrown from their seats and in luggage falling from the overhead storage in the passenger compartments.
“This resulted in a number of minor injuries being sustained by passengers,” said the RAIB spokesperson.
“The train subsequently came to a stand beyond the far end of Peterborough station. The train did not derail during the incident, and no damage was caused to the infrastructure of the railway, or to the vehicles involved.
“The train involved in the incident was not due to call at Peterborough and had originally been approaching the station on a fast line, before being routed onto a slower line via the points where the overspeed occurred.
“The route onto this slower line was being displayed on the signal situated on the approach to the points.
“Our investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events which led to this incident.”
More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/overspeeding-incident-at-peterborough-station.
The RAIB said that on 25 May 2023, they issued “urgent safety advice to Network Rail and transport undertakings who operate trains on the East Coast Main Line through Peterborough station.
“This advised the relevant duty holders to take immediate steps, either operationally, or by technical means, to mitigate this risk.”
The urgent safety advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/urgent-safety-advice-022023-overspeeding-through-spital-junction.
The RAIB spokesperson said: “Our investigation into this more recent incident will seek to identify the sequence of events which led to it.”
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