RAIB investigators want to find out what happened before freight train collided with farm trailer at Kisby level crossing near March
Investigators will piece together the chain of events which ended with a freight train colliding with a farm trailer on a level crossing near to March at 58mph and derailing.
Both drivers suffered shock after the accident last month at Kisby with the train driver also treated for minor injuries.
Train services were delayed for four days while clean-up work was ongoing.
Now the Rail Accident Investigaton Branch wants to find out exactly what including the actions of the driver of the farm vehicle.
The incident happened just after 9am on August 19 when a freight train of a class 66 locomotive and 36 container wagons struck a loaded farm trailer at Kisby user worked level crossing between March and Whittlesea on the Peterborough to Ely line.
The train driver applied the train’s emergency brake about six seconds before the collision occurred, but the train was still travelling at about 58 mph (93 km/h) when it struck the trailer.
The RAIB explained: "As a result of the collision, the trailer parted from the tractor that was pulling it and was then dragged along by the train. The leading axle of the locomotive and an unladen wagon in the middle of the train also derailed. The train ran derailed for around 780 metres before it came to a stop.
"The locomotive suffered significant structural damage during the accident and level crossing and track equipment were also extensively damaged. Train services were disrupted on both lines for four days while the train was recovered and repairs were made to the track and signalling infrastructure."
The crossing at Kisby, as with other user worked crossing, is fitted with a telephone and user-operated powered (POGO) gates. Users are directed by signs at the crossing to use the telephones to obtain permission from the signaller before opening the crossing gates and crossing the railway.
RAIB has been unable to find any evidence that a request to use the crossing was made by the driver of the tractor involved.
An RAIB spokesman said: "Our investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events which led to the accident, including the actions of the tractor driver and other users of the crossing. It will examine how the crossing was being managed and how the risks associated with its use were being assessed and mitigated by Network Rail."
Once the investigation is complete, findings and recommendations on how to improve safety will be published.