Initial Findings into de-railment at Barrow

DRS’s internal investigation is on-going as to what caused the derailment at Salthouse Junction, Barrow on 16th September 2013. An interim report is nearing conclusion with initial findings indicating the incident was a result of human error. At this stage the cause of the wagon becoming de-railed was as a result of rail staff failing to operate the ground frame mechanism correctly. As a direct result the train was de-railed by the safety mechanism (Catch Points) in a controlled manner in accordance with its design. There are no indications at this stage of any fault or defect in any of the track, signalling or rail vehicles involved.

Network Rail will be carrying out their own investigation with full co- operation from DRS in line with rail industry safety requirements.

Precautionary additional control measures have been put in place while the investigations are on-going. These interim measures include a change to the train formation as well as increased managerial presence on site during train movements. Revised and strengthened operational procedures have been put in place with all rail staff involved in train operations at Barrow having been fully briefed and re assessed.

All regulatory bodies, including Rail Accident Investigation Branch (R.A.I.B), were immediately notified of the incident. At this stage they have not stated they have any intention to carry out any investigations beyond that currently being undertaken by DRS and Network Rail.

The final investigation report completed and agreed by both Network Rail and DRS will be made available through the normal channels in due course.

Previous updates


At approximately 1400 today 2 wagons on a DRS train were involved in a slow speed (walking pace) derailment at Salthouse Junction, near Barrow. The train, which was carrying 3 empty waste flasks, from Barrow terminal, was destined for Sellafield.

No-one was injured as a result of the incident and all appropriate railway procedures have been activated, in accordance with standard industry requirements. DRS personnel are attending the site and information on when the wagons will be re-railed will be provided as soon as this is available.

Latest update

Emergency responders have now declared the incident closed and work will now focus on recovering the derailed rolling stock. An investigation will be carried into the cause of derailment in accordance with Rail and Nuclear Transport Regulations.

Latest update 17th September 2013 10.30am

DRS can confirm that one wagon has been successfully re railed and work is now underway to re rail the second wagon. The wagons will then be moved to Ramsden Docks.
Further updates will be provided once the operation is complete.

Latest update 17th September 2013 16.30

DRS are pleased to report that two of the three wagons have been safely transferred back to Ramsden Dock Terminal where they will be inspected and held prior to services recommencing.

Operations are on-going to re rail the third wagon and further information on timescales will be provided when they become available.
Whilst the work is being undertaken the mainline is operating under special working arrangements which is allowing passenger traffic to operate.

Latest Update 18th September 2013 14.00

Good progress was made yesterday and operations continue today to ensure the third wagon is re railed as quickly and safely as possible. DRS has a number of options available however our primary focus is to ensure that the most safe & efficient way of executing the move is taken. We are currently investigating these options and carrying out detailed risk assessments, we will not compromise safety over time frames and we can assure you we are making every effort to recover the vehicle as soon as possible.

Latest Update 19th September 2013 11.30am

Following our previous update we are pleased to advise that the optioneering work to determine the most appropriate methodology for re railing the third vehicle has now been completed. We are now making preparations to start the next phase of recovery of the third wagon. Early preparations have included delivery of the necessary equipment to site, all parties involved have worked closely to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum whilst ensuring the wagon is recovered in the safest & most efficient way.

For further information on passenger services please contact

Latest Update 19th September 2013 17.00

We are pleased to confirm that the operation to re rail the third wagon has been successfully completed and the wagon has been returned to Ramsden docks. This now completes all recovery operations.

We would like to thank all parties involved in this process and apologise to any passengers who have suffered disruption.
As previously stated a full investigation has now begun to determine the cause of the derailment in order to ensure any lessons learned are identified and acted upon. 

Final Update: 24th December 2013

The pdf below is the Root Cause Report relating to the incident.



Like This News Article? Share It With Others!