Wimbledon Train Derailment Caused By Unmaintained Track

Report reveals confusion over responsibility left line unchecked

A train derailment in Wimbledon, which injured four people and caused disruption for several days, was caused by a section of track being left unmaintained for a number of years.

The South Western Railway (SWR) train carrying 300 people came off the tracks at 19mph just after leaving the station at 6.30am on November 7.

It blocked both the local train line into Wimbledon and District line services between Wimbledon and Earls Court. The line was also extensively damaged by the incident.

The Rail Accident Investigation Board (RAIB) has now said that the accident was caused by the distance between the tracks being too wide as it had deteriorated over the years.

It emerged that the 120m stretch of track was missed by routine track inspections because of uncertainty over who was responsible for it.

While most SWR services use the main line, a small number travel between Wimbledon and Waterloo via Wimbledon Park, using part of the District Line track.

According to the RAIB report, there should be a clear demarcation of maintenance responsibilty between Network Rail and London Underground.

But neither of the diagrams provided to both Network Rail and London Underground for track patrols included the stretch of line.

The report concluded: "The consequence of this oversight was that the track was not being inspected or maintained for many years and so degraded into an unsafe condition."

According to the RAIB report, the derailment occurred in an area which London Underground should have been responsible for.

February 16, 2018

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Derailed train

Passengers being helped off the derailed train

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