Derailment Investigation

Course Aims

This course is intended to provide a delegate with an in-depth knowledge of the types and causes of derailments, their prime categories and the methodology behind prime and secondary causes.

The delegate will also be given a comprehensive understanding in the processes of derailment investigation for both Plain Line and S&C, together with the techniques for evidence gathering and reporting.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course the delegate will have: –

  • Be aware of the derailment risks and consequences
  • Be aware of the lessons learnt from previous derailments
  • Have a clear understanding of how derailments occur
  • Have a clear understanding of the courses and categories of derailment, including:-
    • Track
    • Vehicle
    • Operating and Marshalling
    • Human Error
    • Other Causes
  • Have an understanding of the risks of derailment on Renewal sites
  • Have a clear understanding of the risk of derailment in Plain Line track
  • Have a clear understanding of the risk of derailment in S&C, including:-
    • Risks at Hand Points
    • Risks at Switches
    • Risks at Crossings
    • Geometry Faults in S&C
    • Other risks
  • Be aware of the vehicle forces relating to derailments
  • Be aware of the interaction between the wheel and the rail and the flange climb
  • Have an understanding relating to the analysis of track faults, including:-
    • Network Rail Standards
    • Twist
    • Cyclic Top
    • Gauge
    • Other Geometry Faults

Course Duration

Three days.


There are no particular educational or competence pre-requisites for the course. However, the following factors will be of significant benefit to the delegate:

  • Prior experience in working within the track environment
  • An in-depth knowledge of the Track Structure and its Components


Personal Protective Equipment

PPE is not required for this course.


A Certificate of Training will be awarded to the delegate upon successful completion of the training.