Southeastern admits Stonegate station overshoot


A rail company will be sentenced next month over an incident in which one of its commuter trains overran a station by nearly two-and-a-half miles.

Southeastern pleaded guilty at Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court in Kent to charges under two sections of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.

The company will be sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on July 6.

The incident, at 8am on November 8 2010, involved a train travelling from Charing Cross in London to Hastings in East Sussex.

The train overran Stonegate station in East Sussex by 2.43 miles (3.91km).

In a report into the incident last November, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the train failed to stop at Stonegate station, running on to a point 3.22 miles (5.18km) from when the brakes were first applied.

The report said the rail adhesion conditions were poor on that day due to high winds causing fresh leaf fall, and the onset of rain. The line had been treated to improve adhesion the previous evening.

The RAIB said it was likely that the train failed to stop at Stonegate station because there was almost certainly no sand in the sand hoppers at the leading end.

No-one was hurt and there was no damage to the train or to the track. The train completed the journey to Hastings after a short delay.