Near miss between two trams, Manchester

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At around 17:19 hrs on 17 May 2019, a Manchester Metrolink tram travelling inbound from Manchester Airport towards Victoria passed through the centre platform of Deansgate-Castlefields tramstop. It was required to stop at the platform, but did not do so.

It then passed a signal displaying a stop aspect at the far end of the platform, while travelling at around 9 mph (14km/h), and entered the section of line that leads to St. Peter’s Square tramstop.

Passing this signal placed the tram in a conflicting movement with another tram, which was departing from the other inbound platform having been allowed to do so by the signalling system. The driver of the second tram realised what was happening and bought their tram to a stop before a collision occurred. The tram which passed the signal at stop continued on to St. Peter’s Square tram stop.

There were no injuries or other adverse consequences resulting from this incident. However, a collision between the two trams was only narrowly avoided.

Our investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events which led to the near miss. It will also consider:

  • any factors which may have influenced the actions of the driver of the tram which passed the signal at stop
  • the selection, training, supervision and management of tram drivers on Manchester Metrolink
  • the processes used to assess and control the risk of signal overruns
  • any relevant underlying management factors

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.

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