York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Moors Railway death report urges safety review

Robert Lund
Image caption Robert Lund was said to be a "keen railway enthusiast"

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway has been urged to make safety improvements following the death of a volunteer guard trapped between two trains.

Robert Lund, 65, from East Yorkshire, died at Grosmont Station on 21 May.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the guard had detached the coaches and the accident happened when one of the carriages changed direction.

The report reccommended a review of the railway's safety management of shunting and implement arrangements.

The safety report said the accident occurred when the steam locomotive reversing the detached coach away from the stationary coach changed direction.

It said "the driver applied the emergency brake as soon as he realised this, but there was insufficient distance in which to stop and avoid trapping the guard who had moved back between the coaches to complete the work associated with the uncoupling".

The RAIB found the locomotive changed direction because its screw reverser moved from reverse gear to forward gear.

It said it was able to move this way because the driver had not fitted a mechanical latch to prevent it from moving.

The RAIB said it had also published two learning points to remind staff of:

  • the risks associated with the intended movement of screw reversers, while steam locomotives are in motion, and the control measures in place to prevent this.
  • safe working practices while undertaking shunting duties.

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