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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 May, 2003, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Potters Bar crash report: At a glance
The third Health and Safety Executive report into the fatal Potters Bar rail crash has found deficiencies in the maintenance of key points on the track.

Its findings include:

  • The derailment was due to the failure of points 2182A.

  • Components in the points were in a poor condition.

  • Nuts on the points were missing.

  • The points had been poorly maintained and were not adjusted correctly.

  • Other sets of points in the Potters Bar area were found to have similar, though less serious, maintenance deficiencies.

  • Other sets of points showed evidence that attempts had been made to improve the retention of nuts, suggesting there had been difficulties in the area with such nuts loosening.

  • The train was being driven normally and within the permissible speed.

  • As the third coach travelled over the points, the wheels on each axle were forced in two opposing directions, derailing the rear of the third coach and the fourth coach entirely.

  • There appears to have been no guidance or instructions for setting up, inspection or maintenance of points of the 2182A type.

  • There appears to have been a failure to recognise safety-related defects in the set up and condition of points 2182A, and to record or report them.

  • There were deficiencies in the response to a report of a rough ride in the area of the points south of Potters Bar station the night before the derailment.

  • Wider inspections of a sample of points of the 2182A type across the rail network in May/June and again in October/November 2002 found conditions that were not consistent with good engineering practice. The deficiencies were less serious than those at Potters Bar.

  • No evidence has yet been established to support speculation that sabotage or deliberate unauthorised interference was the cause of the derailment.

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