Summit On The Shap Line?

Click pic to enlarge
Click pic to enlarge

IN our climate of health and safety, there was a spiritless response by the rail companies/authorities to news that a 30-ft long steel shipping container had apparently been “blown off” a freight train on its late night run through a moderately windy Cumbria.

“So what?,” the pink ties seemed to say, hiding behind their PR people in London. No-one died.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) coughed out a few lines to say it is “examining” what happened. This means they’re not even sure if it’s worthy of “investigation” yet.

A local lorry driver who spotted it from the nearby M6, local residents and unions seem to think so.

Here’s some photos of the container having smashed through a dry-stone wall where it wiped out a fence south of Shap, where I found a dead and unlucky pheasant at the scene.

A good job the container landed off the embankment instead of landing on the opposing track where it could have lain unsuspectingly in the path of a Scottish or London-bound sleeper, shuddered a resident.

The empty container landed about 21ft from a minor road used to reach a hamlet called Scout Green. It also stopped short of a railway bridge used by residents.

May be if this had happened in Lambeth Green we’d have heard more fuss?

And had the wind picked up the container on its journey through nearby Shap, then we’d have a totally different story.

It also came off just north of Tebay – where last month I wrote about a crowd of around 50 people, including widows and fatherless children, gathering to remember the four men killed in the area 11 years ago when a 16-tonne runaway wagon broke free.

Is it acceptable in 2015 to have 30ft metal containers, weighing an estimated three tonnes, flying off trains at night in Cumbria?

My story from the 14th March edition of The Cumberland & Westmorland Herald
My story from the 14th March edition of The Cumberland & Westmorland Herald

6 thoughts on “Summit On The Shap Line?

  1. The MPs for the area should be insisting on an investigation and lessons learnt to ensure that this cannot happen anywhere in the future. Someone sure did not secure this container properly. If this is not the case then it is clear that the security of empty containers is inadequate and hence dangerous.

  2. A spokesman for RAIB said: “RAIB was notified of the incident and is undertaking a preliminary examination.

    “Subject to our findings, we will determine if an investigation is appropriate and if there is any safety learning for the industry.

    “Should there be an investigation we will update our website accordingly.”

  3. if this container had fallen off or been (blown) off a truck on any uk road rural or motorway there would be hell to pay for both driver and operator and more crap about getting more freight onto railways. I’d bet the train driver didn’t even know until he reached his destination

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