HST strikes rail obstruction

AN INVESTIGATION has started after a Virgin East Coast HST hit the end of a 129m-long section of surplus rail at Cradlehall, south of Inverness, that was fouling the rail head.

The train was working the 07.55 Inverness-King’s Cross ‘Highland Chieftain’ and was travelling at 53mph.

The still image from the front-facing cab video camera of the obstruction. Picture: RAIB/Virgin Trains East Coast.

The rail had been left in this position following earlier engineering work. It was knocked clear, and fortunately no significant damage was caused to the train.

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RAIB is investigating and will publish a safety digest in due course. RAIB has issued a urgent safety advice notice to Network Rail as this is one of four incidents since October 2014 when the track has been returned for operations in an unsafe condition after engineering activities.

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