Fatal accident on a level crossing at Tibberton, Worcestershire

Tibberton No. 8 footpath crossing seen from the train that passed through just seconds before the fatal accident, showing the foggy conditions.
Overview of area.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has released its report into a fatal accident between a train and a pedestrian at Tibberton No. 8 footpath crossing on 6 February 2019.

At 09:57 on a foggy morning, a train from Paignton to Manchester Piccadilly passed over Tibberton No. 8 footpath crossing, on the line between Cheltenham Spa and Birmingham via Dunhampstead. The rearward-facing video shows a pedestrian at the kissing gate at the entrance to the crossing, waiting to cross.

15 seconds later, the forward-facing camera on a service from Nottingham to Cardiff Central, travelling in the opposite direction, picked up the same pedestrian but now in the six-foot between the tracks. Two seconds later, the train hit him, causing fatal injuries.

Passive crossings, such as Tibberton No. 8 footpath crossing, rely on the user looking and listening for trains. However, the foggy weather conditions had made the crossing unsafe to use as, in these conditions, the pedestrian could not see or hear the approaching train early enough to be able to decide to cross safely.

Layout of Tibberton No. 8 footpath crossing.

The RAIB report believes that this happened because the risks associated with using the crossing in fog had not been adequately mitigated. Network Rail does not actively manage the effects of fog on the safety of its passive crossings and had not carried out an assessment of the risks introduced by fog on the safety of its level crossings at national level.

As a result of its investigations, the RAIB has made a recommendation to Network Rail aiming to ensure that it understands the risks presented by fog at passive level crossings, and implements a strategy to ensure that the risk to an individual using a passive level crossing in fog is acceptably low.

The investigation also identified three learning points, two relating to the management of crossings and one as a reminder to train drivers to bring their trains to a stand upon hearing a railway emergency call.

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