Corby rail landslip: Government investigation launched

The Government are to investigate an incident on the railway line at Corby that led to hundreds of passengers being stranded for hours on two trains.

A train travelling at 42mph hit the landslip behind Stephenson Way in Corby at about 3.53pm on Thursday, June 13.

The train stranded on aggregate from the bank

The train stranded on aggregate from the bank

Although it stopped safely, attempts to get the passengers away from the area did not work and they were left sitting on the train until late in the evening.

Following heavy rain, water had flooded out of the Pen Green balancing lakes, down the bank and on to the track.

Now the government's Rail Accident Investigation Branch will look more closely into what went wrong that evening.

Their initial briefing says: "At about 15:53 hrs on Thursday 13 June 2019, a northbound passenger train collided with aggregate on the tracks about one mile north of Corby station. The aggregate had washed onto the track from the adjacent cutting slope as a result of flooding. The train was travelling at 42 mph (68 km/h) and did not derail. The driver brought the train to a stand and contacted the signaller to report the landslip and flooding.

The train was left stranded following the landslip

The train was left stranded following the landslip

"The train was the 14:34 hrs service from London St Pancras to Nottingham, and was carrying 190 passengers. It had been diverted from its planned route via Market Harborough to an alternative route via Corby, as a result of another incident taking place south of Leicester station. The High Speed Train (HST), comprised a class 43 diesel-electric power car at each end and eight coaches in between.

"When the driver examined the train, he found the rear power car was trapped by further aggregate that had washed-out from the cutting slope after the train had stopped. The passengers were evacuated to a southbound train which was subsequently trapped by flood water. Once lighting and road transport were in place, all of the passengers (from both trains) were evacuated and taken by road to Kettering station. There was no one reported to the RAIB as having being injured during the initial collision or subsequent evacuations.

"Our investigation will identify the sequence of events that led to the flooding and cutting slope failure at this location. It will also consider: the history and condition of the cutting slope and nearby drainage; the maintenance of the cutting slope and nearby drainage; the management of the infrastructure in response to prolonged heavy rainfall; any relevant underlying management factors.

"Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry, the Office of Rail and Road."

The flood by the side of the balancing lakes in Corby

The flood by the side of the balancing lakes in Corby

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Safety is our top priority and we will work closely with East Midlands Trains and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch on their investigation into this incident.”

In a near-identical statement, East Midlands Trains said: ""The safety of our staff and our passengers is always our absolute priority. We will work closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and Network Rail to assist with this investigation."

The report will be published at its conclusion.

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