Published 5th February 2013
Rail.co.uk reader Andrew Jeffery was at York waiting to see LNER ‘A4 Pacific’ No. 60009 Union of South Africa pass through York station with train No. 5Z85, York to Carnforth on Thursday January 31.
I was standing just opposite the two support crew members it was picking up from the platform. Upon coming around the bend and under the bridge it stopped to pick the two men up - all ok at this point.
When pulling away from the halt there is an almighty clang that seemed to come from the coach’s front bogie (set of wheels). Due to noisy cab environment in the locomotive’s cab, the driver seemed unaware of this and proceeding to the red signal ahead at about 1 mph.
A fellow rail enthusiast next to me shouted 'STOP!' - but the driver obviously ignored it thinking the chap wanted him to stop for photos. Next I think someone shouted 'YOUR OFF', to which the driver looked confusingly at us before the final shout was 'YOU'VE DERAILED''.
This final shout made the driver frantically turn around. To his despair the carriage wheels where about 20cm off the lines. He immediately applied the brakes and stopped, had a chat with the fellow crew members and got out for an inspection. He then phoned Network Rail and all of the normal safety procedures were carried out.
Six hours after this happened 60009 was finally uncoupled from the coach.
The cause of the accident seemed to be because one of the rail retaining shoes on the line had broken. That particular line through York's platform 10 has been in a very bad condition for quite a while now.
All normal services where diverted as Platforms 10 and 11 were closed for a while, but platform 11 later opened to short trains only. Nobody was allowed on platform 10 and 11 past the loco however once Network Rail became involved.
This is the second time this particular engine has seemingly been involved in a minor derailment due to the condition of track. In Stuarts Lane same thing happened in December 2007 after dark when three or four rail clips were missing from the track inside the depot and another very slow speed derailment happened.
Written by Andrew Jefferey