Investigation launched into freight train derailment at Willesden

Willesden
Credit: RAIB

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has announced that they have launched an investigation into the derailment of a freight train.

At 21:30 on Monday 6 May 2019, an empty wagon of a northbound freight train derailed as it approached Willesden High Level Junction in London.

As it passed over the points at the junction, the wagon re-railed, and the train continued its journey without the driver noticing anything odd.

Network Rail became aware of the derailment the following day when technicians went to investigate a signalling fault. They reported finding severed signalling cables and track damage.

The investigation will identify the sequence of events that led to the derailment and how the wagon derailed. It will also consider:

  • the condition of the wagon
  • the maintenance of the wagon
  • the condition of the track and its geometry
  • the maintenance of the track
  • the management of the local infrastructure
  • any relevant underlying management factors.

The train was the 19:45 service from Hoo Junction Up Yard, in Kent, and was carrying spoil from an engineering worksite. The locomotive was a Class 66, hauling a load of 21 wagons, the wagon which derailed was the 20th from the front and was an MPA type.

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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.
  • That just sounds bit scary. Never knew that empty wagons can derail. Luckily it didn’t cause disruptions to services.