Locked suspension caused derailment

LOCKED suspension on a twisted wagon was behind a derailment that blocked a route from a Suffolk town, crash experts have said.

Will Clarke

LOCKED suspension on a twisted wagon was behind a derailment that blocked a route from a Suffolk town, crash experts have said.

The rail line between Bury St Edmunds and Ely was out of commission for six months following the derailment of wagons near Ely in June 2007.

The wagons were left hanging over a river for a month, while, at a cost of �500,000, engineers built a road across marshland so a crane could reach the stricken train and begin repairing the bridge

Commuters from Bury were left to use replacement bus services.

Now a report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has been published into what went wrong.

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In conclusion the report states: “The immediate cause of the incident was the right hand leading wheel flange on a wagon running over the rail head. This was caused by the leading right hand suspension sticking, or frictionally locking up

“As the wagon rounded the curve only very small guiding forces acted on the flange, which were insufficient to keep the vehicle on the track.”

The report also states that “the frame (of the wagon) had a twist of approximately 20mm - beyond the 6mm limit” which contributed to the lock.

The RAIB report, although telling rail bosses to establish better methods for checking and maintaining the wagons, does not apportion any blame for the accident.