Train driver went more than 100mph over speed limit, investigation finds

The driver was unwell and missed warnings to slow down

Cathy Adams
Friday 02 August 2019 15:43 BST
An LNER sped through an emergency speed restriction at more than 100mph the limit
An LNER sped through an emergency speed restriction at more than 100mph the limit (LNER)

A train driver went at more than 100mph over an emergency speed limit when he was distracted due to illness, an official investigation has found.

The incident happened on 19 October 2018 on a London North Eastern Railway (LNER) passenger train travelling from Aberdeen to London King’s Cross.

An emergency speed restriction of 20mph had been put in place at Sandy South Junction in Bedfordshire the day before the journey, when a crack had been found in a set of points on the track.

Instead, the driver sped through the junction at 121mph, more than 100mph faster than the speed limit.

The report from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that the driver had missed several warnings to reduce the train’s speed.

The RAIB said that the driver was feeling unwell, and reached down for medication in his bag. It was at that point that he missed audible and visual warnings telling him to slow down to meet the 20mph speed limit.

In addition, the investigation found that the driver hadn’t been properly notified by LNER of the emergency speed restrictions in place on the route.

The RAIB concluded that train companies should minimise the risk that drivers are unaware of any emergency speed restrictions of their route.

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