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Lawyer for Salisbury crash victims calls for action plan to prevent future collisions

A lawyer representing victims of the Salisbury train crash has called on the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) to confirm what actions have been taken to ensure that a similar collision is prevented.

Posted on 26 November 2021

This incident was the first involving a collision between two moving in-service passenger trains in the UK since the Ladbroke Grove rail crash on 5 October 1999.

Personal injury partner Ross Whalley is representing passengers from the collision who have sustained physical and psychological injuries. 
The collision on 31 October 2021 involved a South Western Railway (SWR) train travelling from London Waterloo to Honinton in Devon and a Great Western Railway (GWR) service travelling from Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Temple Meads. The two trains collided at Salisbury Tunnel Junction, which is shortly before Fisherton Tunnel. The front two coaches of the SWR train and the rear two coaches of the GWR train derailed and both trains continued to travel before coming to a stop in Fisherton Tunnel.
The preliminary report published by the RAIB found that the driver of the SWR rain applied the brake when approaching a red signal on the line and around 12 seconds later made an emergency brake demand. A second emergency brake demand was made by the trains on warning system. However, the train continued onto the junction and the report indicated that “wheel slide” was present and that this was “almost certainly a result of low adhesion between the train’s wheels and the rails”.
Thirteen passengers were injured in the crash and the driver of the SWR train is reported to have suffered “life-changing” injuries.
The personal injury team at Leigh Day is currently representing one of the victims of the Croydon tram crash and head of the personal injury team, Sally Moore, acted for 50 people injured in the Paddington rail crash.
Ross Whalley, partner at Leigh Day, said:
“While we welcome the swift action by the RAIB to carry out a preliminary investigation of the incident and publish those findings, it is crucial that they publish their full findings as soon as possible to confirm what is being done to ensure that a crash like this can never happen again.”

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