The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has released its report into an incident where a Caledonian Sleeper train didn’t stop at Edinburgh Waverley station.
At around 07:25 on Thursday 1st August 2019, the driver of the Edinburgh section of the Lowlander Caledonian Sleeper service from London Euston was not able to control the trains speed on approach to Edinburgh.
The driver was also unable to follow the speed limit at Haymarket East Junction and would have been unable to stop the train before the junction if there had been another train heading through the junction at the same time.
The train was also then unable to stop at Edinburgh Waverley and came to a stop around 650 metres after Platform 11 at Edinburgh Waverley, and only stopped when the train manager operated emergency brake button in a coach.
The train crew found that an air isolation cock between the locomotive and coaches was closed when it should have been open.
After finding the issue, and obtaining permission from the signaller, the train reversed back into the station where the passengers alighted. No damage or injuries were reported.
The driver was unable to stop the train because the brake pipe isolating cock on the leading end of the front coach was closed, this prevented the brakes on all coaches from operating.
The isolating cock became closed during coupling operations when the Edinburgh section was split from the Glasgow train at Carstairs. The happened after the brake test had been complete; therefore, the closure was undetected prior to departure from Carstairs.
The brake system on the locomotive masked the lack of coach brakes until the train was approaching Slateford, near Edinburgh.
The RAIB has made two recommendations; one was addressed to the RSSB to change the wording in the rules to make it clear a brake test should be done after all coupling activities had been completed.
The second recommendation was addressed to Caledonian Sleeper to review the vulnerability of the isolating cocks on its coaches to prevent the wrong operation by people or objects.
Along with the recommendations, a number of learning points were identified, relating to procedures, running the brake test, the ‘train in distress’ signal and recording data.
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