Restored Diesel Locomotive Derails at Corfe Castle Station During Festival

A partial derailment occurred at Corfe Castle station on the Swanage Railway heritage line, involving the restored diesel locomotive BR Class 50 No. 50026 Indomitable. No passengers were injured, and an investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch is underway to determine the cause.

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Nitish Verma
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Restored Diesel Locomotive Derails at Corfe Castle Station During Festival

Restored Diesel Locomotive Derails at Corfe Castle Station During Festival

On Saturday, May 11, 2024, a partial derailment occurred at Corfe Castle station on the Swanage Railway heritage line in Dorset, involving the restored diesel locomotive BR Class 50 No. 50026 Indomitable. The incident took place at around 18:30 during the annual Diesel Gala and Beer Festival, resulting in the cancellation of evening trains.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the importance of ensuring the safety and maintenance of heritage railway lines, which are often popular tourist attractions. The investigation's findings will have implications for the operation and regulation of similar heritage railways across the country.

Fortunately, no passengers were injured, and no damage was caused to the carriages, which were being hauled by another locomotive with the Class 50 on the rear of the train. Specialist contractors were called in overnight to re-rail the 115-ton heritage diesel locomotive, which was built in 1968 and carries British Rail Network South East livery from the 1980s. Inspections are underway to determine if any damage has been caused to the locomotive.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has launched an investigation into the incident. Gavin Johns, Chairman of the Swanage Railway Company, said: "The Government's Rail Accident Investigation Branch has been advised of the incident, and we liaised with the RAIB regarding the recovery of the diesel locomotive and the RAIB's investigation into what caused the partial derailment of the diesel locomotive."

As a result of the investigation, train services for May 12, 2024, have been altered, with 11 trains operating only on the 5.5 miles of line between Swanage, Corfe Castle, and Norden. The incident occurred on the second day of the festival, which featured nine heritage diesel locomotives from the 1960s and 1970s. The return of the 'Jurassic Crompton' rail tour from Swanage to Eastleigh and London Waterloo, via the main line connection near the River Frome, will still take place on the afternoon of May 12, 2024.

The Class 50 'Indomitable' locomotive was withdrawn from British Rail service in 1990 and was restored by a group of volunteers over 15 years. The Swanage Railway is a heritage railway line that operates on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, England. It runs for 5.5 miles from Norden to Swanage, passing through the historic Corfe Castle station.

The partial derailment of the restored diesel locomotive 'Indomitable' at Corfe Castle station has led to altered services on the Swanage Railway as the RAIB investigates the cause of the incident. Despite the derailment, no injuries were reported, and the Jurassic Crompton rail tour is set to continue as planned on May 12, 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • Partial derailment of BR Class 50 No. 50026 Indomitable at Corfe Castle station on May 11, 2024.
  • No passengers injured, no damage to carriages.
  • RAIB investigation launched to determine cause of incident.
  • Train services altered on May 12, 2024, due to investigation.
  • Jurassic Crompton rail tour to continue as planned on May 12, 2024.