off the rails

Dart derailed last year because a staff member was 'not competent'

The ‘low-speed derailment’ occurred close to Dun Laoghaire station last year.

AN INVESTIGATION INTO the derailment of a DART passenger train last September has found that the train derailed because a staff member was not competent.

The ‘low-speed derailment’ in question occurred on 13 September 2017 at Dun Laoghaire station.

No one was injured during the derailment but thousands of passengers were affected by the delay it caused.

The report published today by the Railway Accident Investigation Unit (RAIU) found that the cause of the derailment was due to the train travelling over failed points which had been incorrectly secured by the points operator, leaving a gap between the stock and switch rails.

Points are a mechanical installation which enables trains to be guided from one track to another.

PastedImage-92278 RAIU RAIU

A points operator manually operates power operated points which have failed or have been disconnected.

The RAIU found that deficiencies in the training records and continuous assessment of the points operator meant he did not have sufficient knowledge or practical experience in order to carry out his duties.

The report noted that workplace assessments had changed from six to every twelve months, which meant the points operator had passed as competent at the time of the accident.

The points operator received training on the hand operation of power operated points on the 15 September 2016, which was followed by an assessment directly afterwards in which he passed as competent.

The day of the accident, 13 September 2017, was the first day that the points operator had been required to carry out the duties of points operator, where a train was required to travel over them.

Following the report, Iarnród Éireann has “reverted to four workplace development events over a twenty-four month period”, meaning there will be an assessment every six months.

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