Level Crossing Near Miss
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT DETAILS
At about 11:58 hrs on 13 March 2019, the London Fenchurch Street to Southend Central service passed over Mucking automatic half barrier level crossing between East Tilbury and Stanford-le-Hope in Essex, about six seconds after a partially loaded concrete delivery lorry had reversed off the crossing. The train was travelling at 57 mph (92 km/h) as it approached the crossing.
The lorry had stopped on the level crossing in order to reverse into an adjacent gateway, onto a site where contractors were constructing a new foundation on behalf of Network Rail. During this manoeuvre, which was supervised by a traffic marshal, a crossing barrier lowered onto the lorry.
The lorry remained stationary on the crossing for about eight seconds until a site worker manually lifted the barrier to release it and the lorry reversed along the road, clear of the crossing. The train driver observed the lorry reversing away from the crossing. After the train had passed, the lorry driver, with assistance from the banksman, repeated the manoeuvre and entered the compound.
A full report and video can be accessed at the following website https://www.gov.uk/government/news/report-162019-near-miss-between-a-passenger-train-and-lorry-at-mucking-ahb-level-crossing
Simon French, chief inspector of rail accidents, said: “This report describes a near-miss that could so easily have turned into a disaster. Safety at automatic level crossings depends on users following the Highway Code, and not entering the crossing after the flashing lights and audible signals have started.
In this case the driver of a lorry loaded with concrete followed hand signals from a railway worker and drove his vehicle onto the crossing as the lights began to flash. The lorry reversed clear just six seconds before a train passed".
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT IMAGES
LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS TAKEN
A summary of the conclusions are reproduced below.
-The lorry was manoeuvring on the level crossing when a train was approaching (paragraph 45).
- The lorry driver drove onto, stopped and reversed on the level crossing
- Site staff did not recognise the need to take account of the level crossing when managing the large road vehicle at the site entrance
Probable underlying factors
- management of site activities was inadequate
- Network Rail processes and oversight of construction activities did not recognise the risk presented by the level crossing
Drivers should be reminded that level crossings are areas of high risk where they should be alert to all the potential dangers. A toolbox talk detailing a level crossing near miss can be found on safequarry.
LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS IMAGES
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