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Runaway train was travelling '30 miles an hour'

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Tom Edwards Tom Edwards | 13:30 UK time, Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Emergency coupler and tow-bar showing point of failure

Emergency coupler and tow-bar showing point of failure

We've been given the first report into the runaway rail grinder train incident that took place in August between Archway and Warren Street.

The report emphasises that this was an extremely serious incident which could have resulted in "fatalities".

The full report is here. Another report from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch is due next year. You may remember that passenger trains had to be diverted to avoid a collision.

I've read the report and initially the catalogue of errors seem to be:

** The brakes on the grinder train were isolated

** The emergency coupler failed due to "significant bending load"

** That was caused by the tube train that was towing the grinder braking suddenly as it was going too fast.

** There was time pressure to resume services that affected decision making

Passengers who were on train 107 ahead of the runaway grinder train still want to know how far they were from a collision and at what speed the grinder was travelling.

I've also obtained an internal email from Transport for London.

It says:

"The rail grinder speed through Archway platforms at 25 to 30 mph, Kentish Town 26 to 32 mph, Camden Town 10 to 15 mph, Mornington Crescent 10 -12 mph, Euston 9 - 10 mph and less than 3 mph arriving at Warren St where the signalling data shows the train coming to a rest at the platform and then rolling back a few yards into the tunnel at 2mph."

Let me know your thoughts.


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