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Derailment of a Passenger Train Near Walton-on-Thames

Investigation into the derailment of a passenger train following a collision with redundant rail near Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, 4 March 2024



View towards Walton on Thames station along the Up Fast line showing the railway access point deck and a broken section of redundant rail
View towards Walton on Thames station along the Up Fast line showing the railway access point deck and a broken section of redundant rail

At around 05:40 hrs on 4 March 2024, a passenger train, travelling along the Up Fast line between Woking and London Waterloo, struck a piece of redundant rail on a railway access point on the approach to Walton‑on‑Thames station. The train was travelling at around 85 mph (137 km/h) when the collision occurred.


The train’s leading set of wheels derailed, but the train remained upright and came to a stand around 500 metres beyond the point of collision, as a result of the driver applying the emergency brake. There were no injuries, but the train and several hundred metres of railway infrastructure were damaged.


The train was the first one along the Up Fast line following engineering work that had taken place the previous weekend. This work included recovering redundant rails.


Our investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events that led to the accident. It will also consider:


  • the planning and management of the work to recover the redundant rails

  • the arrangements to ensure railway lines are safe for the passage of trains following engineering work

  • the actions of those involved and anything which may have influenced them

  • any underlying management factors.


Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.


We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.

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