The report into the collision between a derailed freight train and a travelling post office train at Rickerscote, near Stafford.
This document was published in 1996 by Health and Safety Executive.
It was written by Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate.
This item is linked to the Accident at Rickerscote on 8th March 1996
The original document format was Bound Booklet, and comprised 70 pages.
This document was kindly sourced from Ian Brightmore and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 10th September 2005.
This document is Crown Copyright, and is subject to the terms governing the reproduction of crown copyright material. Depending on the status and age of the original document, you may need an OPSI click-use license if you wish to reproduce this material, and other restrictions may apply. Please see this explanation for further details.
"At 2308 hours on Friday 8 March 1996 there was a collision between two trains at Rickerscote, Stafford. A freight train travelling south towards Wolverhampton became derailed because of the complete fracture of an axle fitted to one of the wagons containing liquid carbon dioxide in the train. Derailed wagons blocked the adjacent line and were run into by a travelling post office train running in the opposite direction. The locomotive and
front four coaches of this train became totally derailed and one of the employees of Royal Mail who had been working on this train was killed.
The direct cause of the accident was quickly found to have been the fracture in mid-span of an axle fitted to one of the 2 axle wagons in the freight train. Subsequent investigations concerning why the fracture occurred have proved to be more complex, but the conclusion drawn is that the axle failed due to fatigue; probably initiated by corrosion pitting on the axle's surface. This type of failure is a rare event given the thousands of axles in daily service under rail vehicles. However, previous failures have been looked at as part of this investigation.
The condition of the track and signalling were found to be satisfactory and did not contribute to the causation of the accident."
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