by Josephine Cordero Sapién
15 Nov 2021
Trains will start running through Fisherton Tunnel tomorrow, 16 November, following the collision between a GWR train and an SWR train on 31 October.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that wheel slide had been involved in the crash, preventing the SWR train from stopping at a red signal. Network Rail will spend a full day deploying its Rail Head Treatment Trains to jet wash the tracks so they are cleared of any debris and / or leaf mulch. Following that, a number of test trains will run on the new tracks to make sure everything is working correctly before passenger services resume.
“I really appreciate how patient everyone has been with us over the past week and a half, from customers who have had their journeys disrupted, to our neighbours who have had cranes outside their houses, London Road closed for a period, and people working 24 hours a day to repair the railway right in the middle of their neighbourhood.
“That work is going to continue until Monday, as we finish replacing damaged equipment and making sure the railway is fit for action again.
“Our railway is one of the safest in the world and when a rare incident like this happens, we have to find out exactly what went wrong. That’s why we’re working closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, British Transport Police and Office of Rail and Road on their investigations and we will be transparent and open with everyone when we know more about exactly what caused this.”
The SWR train collided with the GWR train on Sunday, 31 October, just outside of the Fisherton Tunnel at Salisbury Tunnel Junction, where lines from London and Southampton merge as they approach Salisbury.
The clearance works have involved removing five damaged train carriages being craned out from the site, which is situated in a cutting. Almost 1,500 sleepers have had to be replaced along with three sets of new points. Lastly, 1,000 yards of new track has been laid in the tunnel.
The signalling equipment, including track circuits, have been repaired and are undergoing thorough testing before the line reopens.
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