England

Southern train 'moved with doors open'

Southern rail conductor Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Southern said the circumstances were "unusually rare"

A Southern commuter train travelled a short distance with its doors open, rail accident investigators have said.

The driver-only train rolled out of a station with the doors open, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch said.

Southern said the "unusually rare set of circumstances" occurred for only one carriage length, on the 05:54 train travelling from Tattenham Corner to London Bridge on Monday.

Southern said it was investigating why the train moved with the doors open.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said it was aware of the incident but was not carrying out an investigation because there had not been an accident.

Southern insists there was nothing wrong with the train and said early indications suggest the driver erroneously released the brakes while it was stationary at Reedham station, Surrey, before the doors had closed.

Hit by strikes

"This allowed the train to roll downhill unpowered one coach length at low speed before the driver realised his error," said a spokesman.

The train company has been hit by a series of strikes by conductors fighting plans to extend the use of driver-only trains on Southern services in south-east England.

But the spokesman said: "This was an unusually rare set of circumstances on a train that has run without a conductor for many years and could have happened even if there had been a guard on board."

Southern said the train's mechanism meant the train could not be powered if the doors were not closed, but because it was on a slight slope it was able to roll forward once the driver mistakenly released the brakes.

Hove MP Peter Kyle said: "I want to know what went wrong. I can't help but feel that had there been an on-board safety supervisor or a conductor this would not have happened."

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