Derailments bring chaos to Watford and Welwyn

Trains leaving the tracks caused major delays on the East Coast and West Coast main lines, while the one at Watford only narrowly avoided being a major disaster.

By Gary Boyd-Hope

Two separate derailments just three days apart caused major delays at both Watford and Welwyn Garden City in mid-September.

Its future uncertain, ‘Desiro’ No. 350264 is pictured on September 23, after being moved to Watford station. This was the leading unit that was derailed in the nearby incident and then struck by classmate No. 350233. Note how the unit is covered in a layer of mud, while the right-hand side of the cab is wrapped in plastic. Mark Lawrence
Its future uncertain, ‘Desiro’ No. 350264 is pictured on September 23, after being moved to Watford station. This was the leading unit that was derailed in the nearby incident and then struck by classmate No. 350233. Note how the unit is covered in a layer of mud, while the right-hand side of the cab is wrapped in plastic. Mark Lawrence

The first occurrence took place at Welwyn in the early hours of September 13, when two cars of Great Northern Class 313 No. 313055 were derailed on trap points close to the A6129 Great North Way bridge to the south of the station. The incident occurred at around 01.20 while the EMU was working as an empty stock movement in conjunction with classmate No. 313050.

Righting the vehicles initially proved difficult – an attempt to re-rail the driving car with a road-rail recovery vehicle ultimately leading to the car leaning over even further. Consequently, two road cranes were brought in instead. It is understood that the driving car of No. 313055 has suffered some damage to its underside, and there is also some damage to overhead line equipment.

Read more in November’s issue of RE

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