For want of a nail

As is so often the case with major accidents, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report into the Carmont derailment identifies the proximate cause and then reveals the sequence of subsequent mismanagement which led to disaster.

The report falls broadly into three parts: the cause of the landslip which derailed the Inter7City High Speed Train; the operational decisions which resulted in the train running into the blockage at speed; and, finally, the performance of the train’s power car and vehicles in a high energy accident.


As to the cause, RAIB traces it to a bund – an artificial low ridge – which was not part of the original design of the new drainage work intended to protect the railway where it passed through a cutting. Designed by Arup, the drainage system was installed by Carillion – the contracting giant which went into administration in January 2018 will debts of £7 billion.

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