Driver error caused rail crash

A DRIVER'S failure to break properly caused a Suffolk rail crash that threw passengers to the floor and left some suffering with long-term physical affects and phobias, investigators have found.

A DRIVER'S failure to break properly caused a Suffolk rail crash that threw passengers to the floor and left some suffering with long-term physical affects and phobias, investigators have found.

The accident at Sudbury has led to calls for greater guidance to drivers in the wake of such crashes and an urgent review of stopping procedures.

And bosses at rail company One, which operates the train and the station, confirmed they were taking “appropriate action” following the 11-month investigation.

One passenger suffered suspected fractured ribs when the two-carriage train, carrying about 100 passengers, ran into buffer stops at Sudbury station in January. The train had travelled from Marks Tey.


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A report from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) also revealed some passengers, who were not named, were suffering longer-term affects including mental and physical injuries.

In its conclusion, the report said: “The immediate cause of the accident was that the brakes of the train were not applied in a timely and appropriate manner.

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“The only likely explanation of this is misjudgement by the driver. No further causal or contributory factors were identified.”

Now the RAIB has recommended greater guidance for train crews on procedures following an accident and a review into energy-absorbing buffer stops at terminal platforms.

A spokesman for One said: “We welcome the publication of the RAIB report into the incident that occurred at Sudbury rail station.

“The company has contributed fully to the investigation and is taking appropriate action in line with the recommendations applicable to One.”

One passenger, who did not want to be named, said: “I am a regular user of the Marks Tey to Sudbury line and since the accident, there does appear to be much slower, careful driving. I think everyone who uses the line hopes any lessons will be learned from the accident and I am sure they will.”

Investigators said the train involved in the collision on January 27 was travelling at about 6.4mph when it came to the sudden stop.

A number of passengers suffered minor injuries as a result of being thrown to the ground on collision and were treated by fellow rail users and then paramedics. The driver, an unnamed 49-year-old man, was said to have more than six years' experience.

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