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Tebay railway incident

On Sunday 15 February 2004 a runaway engineering trailer struck a group of railway workers on the West Coast Main Line at Tebay in Cumbria. Four men were killed and three others were injured.

The Crown Prosecution Service led on the prosecution of this case, following a British Transport Police and HSE HMRI investigation into this incident.

On 17 March 2006 Mr Roy Kennett was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter and a charge under section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA). Mr Mark Connelly was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter and three HSWA charges (two under Section 8 and one under Section 3). Mr Kennett received a two-year custodial sentence, and Mr Connelly received a nine-year custodial sentence. Both men have appealed against sentencing.

Network Rail introduced a new code of practice in September 2004 – COP 014 Trailers and Attachments with Road Rail Vehicles and Rail Mounted Maintenance Vehicles - to help develop additional control measures for road rail vehicles and rail mounted maintenance machines. This code of practice was developed in consultation with the industry, equipment users and suppliers, trades unions and HSE.

HMRI believes that compliance with the code will prevent a similar trailer incident occurring in the future. HMRI will continue to monitor the arrangements to gain compliance with it.

HM Railway Inspectorate
September 2006