Driver fatigue blamed for train running red light in Ruscombe

A freight train ran a red light at Ruscombe Junction last year because the train driver was ‘too fatigued’, and had fallen asleep on the approach to the signal.

The train, operated by DB Schenker, was travelling from Acton to Westbury, ran the light on the morning of Tuesday, November 3 in 2015.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch found the driver, whose identity has not been disclosed, had not had sufficient sleep due to poor facilities at Acton, and was coming to the end of a long night shift.

The driver had not reported as being unfit for duty which RAIB described as ‘causal’.

Its investigation found ‘underlying factors associated with supervision and management’ at the driver’s home depot in Westbury, and the ‘general approach to the management of fatigue within the company’.

RAIB made recommendations about shift planning at the depot, fatigue management in the freight sector and the use of data analysis to identify fatigue risk.

It also identified two ‘learning points’ about the importance of preparing for duty and reporting fatigue, and the use of napping.

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