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April 21, 2020

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Rail safety

Signal passed at danger near Loughborough

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is undertaking an investigation into a signal being passed at danger (red) near Loughborough, Leicestershire, on 26 March 2020.

The incident

railway signalAt around 10:57 hrs on 26 March 2020, a northbound train passed a red signal without authority, about 0.75 miles (1.2 km) south of Loughborough station. The train passed the signal, LR507, by around 200 metres. Signal LR507 applies to the down slow line, and was protecting the crossover south of Loughborough station which was set for use by a southbound train calling at the bi-directional, down slow platform 3. The maximum line speed on approach to the signal is 65 mph (104 km/h).

The signal on the approach to LR507, LR503, was displaying a single yellow aspect as would be expected. The driver applied the brakes before reaching signal LR507, but the retardation was not sufficient to stop the train from the speed at which it was travelling, before it passed the red signal.

There were no injuries or damage as a consequence of this incident, although the southbound passenger train which was calling at Loughborough station platform 3 at the time of the SPAD incurred a delay of approximately 24 minutes.


The RAIB’s investigation will seek to establish the sequence of events, including where the train’s brake was applied and at what speed. It will also seek to:

  • Understand the actions of the people involved;
  • Establish the braking capability of the train and whether it was affected by the way the train was formed, prepared and driven;
  • Review ROG’s processes for producing train timing schedules;
  • Review the industry’s processes for managing the risk of hauling un-braked units;
  • Explore ROG’s arrangements for managing driver competence and fitness and any underlying management factors;
  • Review previous similar accidents and incidents investigated by RAIB and consider the response to recommendations made following those incidents;
  • Make recommendations to prevent a recurrence.

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