News story

Runaway of a trolley and subsequent collision at North Rode

Investigation into a runaway trolley and its subsequent collision with work site equipment at North Rode, Cheshire, 26 May 2024.

The trolley and rail-moving equipment following the collision (courtesy of Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group).

At around 05:00 hrs on Sunday 26 May 2024, a track trolley ran away on a descending gradient towards a site of work and a team of track workers. The trolley came to a stop after it collided with equipment being used for moving rails within the site of work. The track workers had seen the runaway trolley approaching and moved clear of its path before the collision occurred.

No one was injured by the accident. The trolley derailed in the collision, which also caused damage to it and to the rail-moving equipment that it struck.

At the time of the accident, the trolley was being used to transport work equipment. It rolled away from the team who were using it, after its brakes became ineffective. The trolley travelled uncontrolled for approximately 1100 meters before the collision occurred.

Our investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events which led to this accident. It will also consider:

  • the design and maintenance of the trolley
  • the actions of those involved and anything that may have influenced them
  • the arrangements put in place to manage and control the risks of trolley use
  • any underlying management factors.

Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry‚Äôs regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.

We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.

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Published 11 June 2024