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Document Summary

A summary of RSSB's findings with regard to the Hatfield derailment.

This document was published on 16th November 2004 by Railway Safety & Standards Board.

It was written by Railway Safety & Standards Board.

This item is linked to the Accident at Hatfield on 17th October 2000

The original document format was HTML, and comprised 3 pages.

This document was kindly sourced from Railway Safety & Standards Board and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 11th September 2005.

Copyright Information

This document is © Railway Safety & Standards Board.

"The report found that the immediate cause of the accident was due to the fracture and subsequent fragmentation of the high rail over a 35 metre length due to substantial transverse fatigue defects in the rail head. It states that these defects had their origins in gauge corner cracks, a form of rolling contact fatigue, which had developed on the rail surface.

The report points to a number of underlying causes which led to the accident:

An incomplete appreciation of the risks presented by gauge corner cracking, and the consequent failure to develop and disseminate comprehensive instructions on its identification and the control measures required.

A failure to manage and execute a competent visual inspection regime, and to manage the ultrasonic inspections so as to identify the true condition of the high rail at the Welham Curve, and to take appropriate action to maintain the line.

An inadequate management of the contracts relating to the maintenance and renewal of the track asset.

The failure to ensure the completion of the urgent proposal to rerail Welham Curve as a result of a lack of effective project management, and a failure to take account of the potential risks of delay.

The failure to act on the findings of audit reports relating to a lack of adequate knowledge of the track asset. "

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