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Track workers injured in road-rail collision

4 Oct 18 Details have emerged of a collision between a ballast machine and a personnel carrier on the railway in Cheshire last month.

The road-rail ballast distributor involved in the collision
The road-rail ballast distributor involved in the collision

Two men were injured when a road-rail ballast distributor collided with a road-rail personnel carrier near Cholmondeston, on the line between Crewe and Chester, on Wednesday 19th September 2018.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has released details of the event and is exploring the causes.

The ballast distributor included a hopper-fed conveyor system that is used to distribute ballast onto the track. It was equipped with both rubber wheels for road running and steel rail wheels for operation on the railway. That night, it was intended to be used to distribute fresh ballast onto a section of track which was under possession.

The personnel carrier vehicle was an off-road utility vehicle that had been converted for use on and off the railway. It was fitted with tip-up seats at the back to allow the transport of personnel and/or materials. That night, it was transporting personnel involved in track repairs within the possession.

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The ballast distributor vehicle had mounted the tracks at the Calveley road-rail access point, which provides a flat surface allowing road-rail vehicles to be manoeuvred on to the track. It then started travelling, with the conveyor belt end leading, towards where the ballast was needed, 3.5 miles away.

Just after 2.30am the conveyor belt end of the ballast regulator hit the rear of the personnel carrier, which had been stationary prior to the collision.

Two track workers on the personnel carrier were injured, one of them sustaining serious leg and back injuries.

The RAIB said that its investigation would identify the sequence of events that led to the collision and consider the factors influencing the actions of those involved in the operation of the vehicles on the night as well as the condition and design of the vehicles.

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