Unsafe points led to North rail crash

The immediate cause of this year’s Cumbria train crash was the ``degraded and unsafe state“ of a set of points, official rail accident investigators said today.

The immediate cause of this year’s Cumbria train crash was the ``degraded and unsafe state“ of a set of points, official rail accident investigators said today.

Failures of parts of the points allowed one of the rails to move into an unsafe position, a progress report from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said.

One elderly woman passenger was killed and 89 people were injured when the points failure led to a Virgin tilting Pendolino train to derail at Lambrigg, near Grayrigg on the night of February 23.

Today’s report from the RAIB deals with much of the ground already covered in a joint Network Rail/Virgin Trains report into the accident published last month.

The RAIB said it had not yet fully concluded ``the causal and contributory factors of the derailment“ and added that it hoped to publish another report in the early part of 2008.

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