Investigation launched into Metrolink near miss

The RAIB have announced that they are investigating an incident on Manchester Metrolink which saw a tram pass a signal showing a stop aspect at Deansgate-Castlefield in front of another tram which had been given permission to proceed. Thanks to the actions of the driver of the other tram a collision was averted but the investigation will look to find out why the first tram went past the signal.

This incident happened at approximately 1719 on 17th May 2019 with the trams involved heading towards St Peter’s Square. Deansgate-Castlefield has two inbound platforms with the outer platform the one most used although the inner platform face is also used fairly regularly when a tram occupies the other platform. In this case the tram which passed the signal at stop was a Manchester Airport to Victoria service which had been routed via the centre platform. Although expected to stop at Deansgate-Castlefield the Victoria bound tram didn’t and continued past the stop and beyond the signal. It is reported that it was travelling at 9mph. The tram did not come to a stop until it reached the next stop at St Peter’s Square.

At the same time as the tram was passing the signal another tram in the outer platform had been given the road ahead. Fortunately the driver of this tram was aware of what was happening and bought their tram to a stop before any collision could occur.

There were no injuries as a result of this incident but it is said that a collision was only “narrowly avoided”. The investigation will firstly seek to identify the sequence of events which led to the near miss and also any factors which may have influenced the driver of the tram which passed the signal at stop.

In addition the RAIB will consider the selection, training, supervision and management of tram drivers on Metrolink, the processes used to assess and control the risk the signal overruns and any relevant underlying management factors.

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