Attenborough, UK: RAIB reports on “second train” fatal accident

22 Aug

At 14:48 hrs on Saturday 26 October 2013, a pedestrian was struck and fatally injured by a train on Barratt’s Lane No.2 footpath crossing, at Attenborough near Nottingham.
The train was travelling from Nottingham towards Birmingham. At the same time,
a London to Nottingham train was slowly approaching the crossing from the other direction. It is likely that the pedestrian had concentrated her attention on the London train and did not notice the train approaching from the Nottingham direction.
Both trains were fitted with forward facing closed circuit television equipment and the recording from the London to Nottingham train showed that the pedestrian approached the crossing and waited at the gate for 17 seconds before opening it; she started to cross the line 9 seconds later (the train was stopped at a red signal for part of this time). It is most likely that, having seen the London train stopped at the signal, she waited until she had determined that the train was not moving before deciding to cross the line. The sighting distances in both directions were adequate.
Network Rail had assessed the risk at the crossing, in accordance with its standard procedures, and, because the risk rating was relatively high, discussed the options for reducing this risk at a meeting with the highway authority. The chosen option was to divert the footpath and close the crossing. This had not been implemented at the time of the accident as the route of the proposed diversion was obstructed by an equipment room. The room contained signalling equipment that did not become redundant until completion of the Nottingham station resignalling project at the end of August 2013. The equipment room was demolished and the footpath diverted after the accident.
The RAIB has identified one learning point and has made no recommendations.

For double track lines, kissing gates arranged with the hinge on the right-hand side encourage footpath users to face towards the oncoming traffic on the nearest line as they exit from the gate . This is particularly relevant where the gate is close to the track. RSSB is shortly to provide advice on how the arrangement of gates and barriers at a crossing influences the behaviour of pedestrians (project T984), and will include this in a future update of the level crossing risk management toolkit.

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