Salisbury crash train ran through red light as wheel slipped on rails, investigators believe

Investigators at the scene of a crash involving two trains near the Fisherton Tunnel between Andover and Salisbury in Wiltshire.
Investigators at the scene of a crash involving two trains near the Fisherton Tunnel between Andover and Salisbury in Wiltshire.

One of the trains was 'almost certainly' affected by 'low adhesion between the wheels and the track' which meant it was unable to stop at a red signal, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch said.

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A train involved in a crash in Salisbury went past a red signal as its wheels slipped on the rails, investigators believe.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the “initial evidence” indicates that the driver applied the brakes but could not prevent the collision.

Firefighters at the scene of a crash involving two trains near the Fisherton Tunnel between Andover and Salisbury in Wiltshire.
Firefighters at the scene of a crash involving two trains near the Fisherton Tunnel between Andover and Salisbury in Wiltshire.

It went on: “The most likely cause of this was wheelslide, almost certainly a result of low adhesion between the wheels and the track.”

The driver had to be rescued from his cab, and suffered what police described as “life-changing injuries”.

He was driving a South Western Railway train which struck the side of a Great Western Railway service at a junction outside a tunnel in Salisbury at around 6.45pm on Sunday.

Thirteen other people were treated in hospital for minor injuries.