RAIB Annual Report 2020

2021-05-26 -
Array, ASLEF
The cover of the RAIB annual report. A photograph of rail tracks surrounded by trees is the full width of the page. On top there is a blue panel with the RAIB logo and the words 'Annual Report 2020'

In April the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) published its annual report for the operational period up to 31st December 2020.

The reports details all the work undertaken by the RAIB during the year.

During the period the RAIB received 457 notifications of railway accidents and incidents from the industry, which resulted in 38 preliminary examinations. They started 14 full investigations and six safety digests. They published 16 full investigation reports, with the average time taken to publish full reports in 2020 being 11.2 months from the date of occurrence. They issued eight safety digests and two urgent safety advice notices.

All RAIB investigation reports, safety digests and notices can be found on the RAIB website.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic seeing significantly reduced numbers of trains and passengers on the network, there were 4 fatal incidents in 2020 that the RAIB are investigating: the derailment at Carmont in which the driver, conductor and a passenger died; the death of a track worker at Roade, Northamptonshire; the death of passengers on station platforms at Eden Park and Waterloo Underground.

In his review of 2020, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents, Simon French pays particular attention to track worker safety, depots and sidings, the Platform Train Interface (PTI), freight wagon maintenance, managing the consequence of bad weather, human factors, management assurance, and safety culture, as issues for the industry that need to be addressed. The design and management of train braking systems and the management of emergency speed restrictions are also highlighted as important themes of the year.

Published alongside the 2020 Annual Report were two summaries of learnings.

A Summary of Learning is a report based on some of the recurrent themes and areas that the RAIB have ongoing concerns about, and are intended to describe the risks, how they arise and the important areas for safety learning for the rail industry.

The 2 Summaries of Learning published are:

The safe management of weather-related events which affect train operation

The integrity of train braking systems

Simon French, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents, also announced his planned retirement in the report.

The RAIB Annual Report 2020 can be found here.