Safety review for SDR after child almost falls through carriage floor

THE South Devon Railway (SDR) is undertaking a major review of its safety management systems after a child almost entered a lavatory without a floor on a moving train on June 22.

The SDR’s review is in line with an Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) investigation.

The incident occurred as the 13.00 Totnes Riverside-Buckfastleigh service was travelling between Staverton and Buckfastleigh, when a female passenger and her young son opened the door to the lavatory, only to find the floor missing, revealing the wheels and track below. The woman was able to grab her son before he stepped into the cubicle, causing minor bruising, but no injuries were sustained, although both were shaken by the incident.

The passenger subsequently reported the incident to the guard and measures were taken to secure the door. The ORR and RAIB were informed three days later on June 25.

The lavatory floor of the Mk1 SO had been removed to enable a brake pipe repair to be carried out and the door had been sealed out of use. Staff had also placed a notice on the door stating the lavatory was out of use, but according to the RAIB the method of securing the door and the warning “had not been effective”.

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