Manchester Metrolink services to Bury were suspended for a day after the derailment of a Network Rail weed killing train on the connection between the Metrolink network and the East Lancashire Railway. The derailment happened at approximately 1030 on Tuesday 22nd March and caused the cancellation of all services between Whitefield and Bury for the remainder of the day.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) were called and before any attempt at rerailing the train could be made the preliminary investigation had to take place to try ascertain the reasons behind the derailment. The process of returning the Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV) to the rails – which was being used for operator familiarisation by contractor JSD Rail – started late on Tuesday 22nd March but only one half of the unit was rerailed by 0245 the following day with the remaining half finally being rescued mid-morning on Wednesday 23rd March. Initial investigations have suggested that there was a failure of the MPV’s safety systems.
Throughout the disruption services from East Didsbury were being terminated short at Whitefield with a full replacement bus service running through to Bury. Services finally resumed at 1330 on Wednesday 23rd March.