Accident Report

8th February 1971

Original Document - Public Record Office, Kew. MT114 2792


British Railways Western Region

Dear Sir,

INCIDENT AT RADSTOCK WEST PUBLIC LEVEL CROSSING
6 JANUARY, 1971.

The 07.40 hours trip from Frome, comprising 32 unfitted wagons and brake van, arrived at Radstock on the single line, known as the “Up Main” siding (see sketch attached) at 08.20 hours. The locomotive and brake van were subsequently detached to work a train back to Frome, and the raft of wagons were left on the single line.

It is clear from the evidence taken from members of the staff who dealt with the train that insufficient brakes were pinned down on the wagons, so that, later in the morning when some wagons were being detached from the Frome end, the remainder, being unbraked, ran away and collided with the level crossing gates.

Responsibility for this accident rests primarily with the Guard of the 07.40 Frome to Radstock freight train and the person who detached the locomotive on arrival at Radstock, for failing to ensure that sufficient brakes were applied on those wagons at the level crossing end. In addition, the person in charge of the subsequent shunting operations should have checked that sufficient brakes were applied on those wagons which were to remain on the single line.

Suitable disciplinary action is being taken with the staff concerned. In addition, all staff at, and working into Radstock have been reminded of the rule concerning the adequate security of wagons left on a line, which is also on a falling gradient.

Yours faithfully

For J. Bonham-Carter


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