Report identifies safety failings at West Midlands Trains after driver death

An investigation into the death of a train driver at a depot has highlighted safety failings by West Midlands Trains (WMT).

The man was killed when he was trapped between two trains at Tyseley maintenance depot in Birmingham on December 14 last year, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said.

Depot operator WMT “had not adequately considered the hazards faced by drivers” at such sites and its management “had not promoted safe working practices”, investigators said in a report.

These were found to be “underlying factors” in the accident.

The driver, who was not named by the RAIB, was walking between the trains when one of them was moved by another driver, trapping him and causing fatal injuries.

The victim had not used one of the depot’s “safe routes” for walking, while the other driver did not sound a warning prior to moving the train as “local instructions did not require this”, the RAIB found.

Investigators made two safety recommendations, both relating to WMT.

The firm was urged to carry out “effective assessments” of the risks to people working in depots, and to review its processes to ensure “unsafe working practices” are identified.

WMT operates trains under the West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway brands.