Train collision with washed-out aggregate, Corby

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At about 15:53 hrs on Thursday 13 June 2019, a northbound passenger train collided with aggregate on the tracks about one mile north of Corby station. The aggregate had washed onto the track from the adjacent cutting slope as a result of flooding. The train was travelling at 42 mph (68 km/h) and did not derail. The driver brought the train to a stand and contacted the signaller to report the landslip and flooding.

The train was the 14:34 hrs service from London St Pancras to Nottingham, and was carrying 190 passengers. It had been diverted from its planned route via Market Harborough to an alternative route via Corby, as a result of another incident taking place south of Leicester station. The High Speed Train (HST), comprised a class 43 diesel-electric power car at each end and eight coaches in between.

When the driver examined the train, he found the rear power car was trapped by further aggregate that had washed-out from the cutting slope after the train had stopped. The passengers were evacuated to a southbound train which was subsequently trapped by flood water. Once lighting and road transport were in place, all of the passengers (from both trains) were evacuated and taken by road to Kettering station. There was no one reported to the RAIB as having being injured during the initial collision or subsequent evacuations.

Our investigation will identify the sequence of events that led to the flooding and cutting slope failure at this location. It will also consider:

  • the history and condition of the cutting slope and nearby drainage
  • the maintenance of the cutting slope and nearby drainage
  • the management of the infrastructure in response to prolonged heavy rainfall
  • any relevant underlying management factors

Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry, 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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