‘Safety Failings’ Led To Woman Being Dragged Along Newcastle Train Platform

RAIB Report Issued Regarding Incident Last June


A woman became trapped in the doors of a train and was dragged along the platform in Newcastle last year after a train conductor failed to carry out the necessary safety checks, according to a report into the incident.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has revealed that the woman suffered bruising after her hand was trapped in the First TransPennine Express train last June, with the train then moving off and travelling for 20 metres before the issue was identified.

According to the report, the risk that a train’s doors could be detected as locked despite an obstruction being in place was known but not formally assessed.

It also found the conductor did not notice the trapped woman as he failed to carry out a visual check of the train’s exterior, while he was also disciplined after failed to properly report the incident.

The RAIB outlined six recommendations in total in the report, including for the risks of trapping to be considered in future train door designs.

Katrina Elsey, a legal expert at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping those injured in accidents in public places, said: "It is very welcome that a report has been issued regarding this worrying incident, with key conclusions and recommendations being identified as a result.

“Anyone travelling by train expects and deserves to know that their safety is a top priority, yet the investigation into this incident last year has highlighted a series of worrying issues which led to the women being trapped – from a lack of basic safety checks to technical aspects that mean such issues are possible.

“It is now vital that train operators and manufacturers of carriages work to ensure that lessons are learned from this. In terms of the former, there is a need to ensure that staff are always meeting their responsibilities in terms of safety checks, while the latter have been urged to consider the concerns raised in future door designs.

“The RAIB’s findings are a positive step forward and it is vital that this information is used to improve safety in the future.”