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Network Rail emergency plan and safety systems criticised for GE19 bridge accident

Improvements to safety procedures and better emergency planning are among the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) recommendations targeted at Network Rail, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), London Underground and others for failings that led to the GE19 bridge slip in London.

The RAIB today released its report into the accident involving a collision with debris from a bridge under construction near London Liverpool Street during evening rush hour on 28 May last year. Concrete planks fell from the partly completed deck of the bridge onto the track below.

Transport for London admitted last August in its own investigation of the accident that poor attention to detail was to blame.

The RAIB has made seven recommendations, targeted at Network Rail, the HSE, London Underground, Rail for London, the Heritage Rail Association, the Light Rail Engineering Group, Northern Ireland Railways and operator National Express East Anglia.

Key recommendations

  • Safety management systems and procedures - to satisfactorily approve construction work on or over operational railways
  • Procedures so that information is available to operations staff where construction activities might affect the safety of the railway
  • The expansion of the Network Rail’s National Emergency Plan in the light of this incident
  • The wider promulgation of issues identified from this incident among the civil engineering community
  • The enhancement of incident management training given to operations staff.

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