investigators attend scene of Liverpool Kirkdale derailment INDEPENDENT investigators will determine if a runaway train derailment endangered the lives of commuters.
The accident, which crippled part of the transport network at 10.35 yesterday, is believed to have been caused after the equivalent of the hand brake was left off – allowing a passenger train to simply roll out of the Kirkdale depot.
It was running parallel to a line used by thousands of rail users a day and pictures reveal the out-of-control train appeared to have strayed on to an adjacent track.
It derailed at a set of points to the north of Kirkdale, sparking travel chaos and closing the Ormskirk and Kirkby lines.
Yesterday, the Midlands-based Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) confirmed two investigators had travelled to Merseyside to work with Merseyrail and Network Rail on what rail bosses called “a full investigation”.
Merseyrail spokesman Rudi Boersma said: “This did not happen on the passenger route but it is parallel to it and the investigators will determine whether there was ever a danger to commuters. I’m not an investigator and can’t comment on what they may find.
“We want to recover the train as soon as possible so we can resume normal service.”
No one was injured in the incident.
But commuters were forced to catch a replacement bus service between Sandhills and Maghull, as engineers with airbags tried to set the train concerned back on the track.
Although it cannot apportion blame, RAIB’s findings could lead to sanctions for Merseyrail.
The RAIB was set up in the wake of the inquiry into the 1999 Ladbroke Grove crash which killed 31 people.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: “Shortly after 10.45am, British Transport Police were notified of a train which had derailed near to Kirkdale Railway Station.
“The train involved had no passengers on board and no-one has been injured as a result of the derailment.
“Officers are working with RAIB to establish how the train came to be derailed – although at this stage there does not appear to be any criminal involvement.
“The enquiry is ongoing and BTP is working with all relevant agencies to help return the line to normal service as soon as is practicable.”
A spokesman for RAIB would only confirm they were investigating and added that it was not yet clear how quickly they would be able to produce their findings. THE POST