Investigators have stated that a train involved in the Salisbury rail accident ran 240 yards past the stop signal before colliding into another service. Its wheels had slipped on the rails while the driver applied the brakes.

Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), has stated that Robin Tandy (74), attempted to apply brakes before reaching the signal.

Despite the request of the train’s emergency protection system and the driver, the train continued on its journey, but it did not stop at the junction outside Fisherton Tunnel.

The train crashed into the side of a GWR service station, Great Western Railway (GWR). 

Investigators at the scene of a crash involving two trains near the Fisherton Tunnel between Andover and Salisbury in Wiltshire

Investigators at the scene in an accident involving trains near the Fisherton Tunnel, between Andover and Salisbury, Wiltshire

The SWR service, being referred to as 'Train 2', appears to be the most badly damaged of the two trains with carriages leaning at 45 degrees

The SWR service is referred to as “Train 2” and has carriages that lean at 45 degrees.

Passengers on a Great Western Railways service from Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Temple Meads were thrown around their pitch-black carriages after their train 'jolted' to a halt in the tunnel, sending it off the rails as it entered the 430-yard underpass. Around 50 people were stranded on the derailed train for seven minutes before a South Western Railway service from London to Honiton with around 50 more people on board then ploughed into the stationary train at around 6.45pm

After their train stopped in the tunnel, the Great Western Railways passenger service from Portsmouth Harbour was thrown out of their dark carriages and it sped off the tracks as it entered the underpass at 430 yards. Around 50 people were left stranded on the train for seven minutes. At 6.45pm, a South Western Railway train from London to Honiton with approximately 50 people on board was able to drive into the stationary train.

Investigators suggested that the cause was the wheels of the SWR train sliding on the rails. 

Both trains were derail due to the collision. 

GWR passengers were thrown about in their dark carriages before the GWR service ‘jolted’.

Investigators are continuing their investigation into the incident and will examine how Network Rail managed the risk from ‘low wheel/rail adhesion’ at the scene of the collision. 

It is believed that one of the trains was ‘almost definitely’ affected by ‘low adhesion among the tracks and wheels’. This meant that it was unable stop at a red signal.  

According to the Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB), low adhesion can result from ‘contaminants’ on a line like leaves, moisture and oil. This is especially common during autumn and can impact a train’s ability to stop.

The problem can be particularly severe in autumn because leaves can fall onto the tracks.

The leaves created a thin layer of slippery leaves that has a similar effect to black ice on roads.

In the aftermath of the crash, the South West Railway train (left) is seen with its cab mangled after hitting the back of the stationary GWR service, which had previously partially derailed in a tunnel close to Salisbury station

The South West Railway train (left), with its cab damaged from hitting the back of the GWR station, was seen in the aftermath of the crash. It had been partially derailled in a tunnel close by Salisbury station. 

Emergency services personnel gather near the site where two trains collided near Salisbury

Near Salisbury, emergency services personnel gathered near the scene where two trains collided.

Police and firefighters at the scene of a crash involving two trains near the Fisherton Tunnel

Firefighters and police at the scene of a collision involving two trains near Fisherton Tunnel

It makes it harder for trains to brake and accelerate efficiently. Some operators have created special autumn timetables to allow trains to drive at a slower speed.  

Martin Frobisher is Network Rail’s safety & engineering director. He stated that the issue ‘affects all railways across the globe’ on Tuesday night. 

He stated that the industry bodies are working hard to address the annual problem so that trains can run safely and reliably all through autumn.   

The RAIB also stated that it will review Network Rail’s and SWR’s general policies regarding the issue.

“It sounded just like a bomb going off” 

Witnesses described hearing a loud bang that sounded ‘like a bomb going off,’ when two trains collided in a tunnel near Salisbury last evening.

A local resident, who lives near the tunnels, said she was out celebrating hallowe’en with her kids when they heard the train crash. She liked thundering or hearing a bomb go off.

Tamar Vellacott told reporters that she was out with her children and mother celebrating hallowe’en at the time of the crash.

“It was a strange noise that we have never heard before. My young ones panicked thinking it was a bomb. We suggested that maybe a lorry had crashed onto the London Road and not panic,” said the 25-year old.

“There was no screeching sound like brakes, but a long rumbling sound that sounded like thunder. We were a bit scared, but we decided to get into our car and drive home. Three police cars passed us very fast. 

Peter Golden, 52, of Laverstock in Wiltshire said that the collision’sounded almost like a big collapsing, the sound of things falling into one another’.

“With the windy day that we’ve had, I initially thought it was a big gust wind that has knocked over something heavy.

“It wasn’t until the helicopter arrived on the station over the tunnel, that I realized what I had just heard.

“The first helicopter arrived at the station and began hovering around 30-40 minutes after the collision. 

‘There were many sirens, emergency vehicles, and ambulances on London Road.

“Emergency vehicles were arriving from the west, east – presumably Andover as well Salisbury. 

There were 92 passengers on each train when they collided just outside Salisbury City Centre. 

Thirty passengers were treated at a hospital for minor injuries after they arrived at a casualty facility set up in a nearby Church. 

Fearful passengers had called their loved ones to say good-bye, fearing that they were about to die. 

Police say that Mr. Tandy has sustained ‘life-altering injuries’. 

Claire Mann, SWR managing director, stated that the driver, who is still being treated in hospital, “reacted correctly to the signals by brake to slow down the train down”.

She said that she believed his actions prevented a more serious incident. We wish him a speedy recovery.

According to the rail operator Mr Tandy ‘has over 50 years’ experience driving on the route’ and ‘has an excellent professional track record.

A statement stated that all drivers are subject to regular assessments and that the injured driver has met all requirements.

Train drivers in the UK are not required to retire at a certain age. 

Drivers can keep driving their licenses as long they pass regular competency and medical exams.  

Cameron Thrower, one the passengers in the collision, described the ‘extremely frightening’ moment when he was suddenly thrown to the ground after the trains crashed. 

Speaking to BBC Breakfast from his home in Dorset, he said: ‘The next thing I know there’s just an almighty noise, I’m being thrown about the joiner carriage.

‘Worst, I turn around and there’s this huge howl of fire and sparks outside. 

“And the next thing that I know, I’m just in darkness on the floor wondering about what’s happened, realising that it’s not all as it should be, and it was extremely frightening in that moment.”

“Even in this terrible time, everyone was doing their best to make sure their fellow man was okay, making sure everyone is safe, making sure everyone else is fine, making sure everyone is healthy, making sure everyone is safe, making sure everyone is safe, making sure everyone is safe, making sure everyone else is safe, making sure everyone else’s lives are normal, making sure everyone is getting the best help they can.  

Another passenger, Dimitri Popa from Romania, was travelling on the train from London to Sherborne when the terrifying crash occurred.

The 17-year-old remarked, “It all happened very fast… I was only sitting in the first carriage when there was a massive crash. 

“Then, I saw the flames and became very scared. All the lights went out. The carriage was 45 degrees to the left. We were all so shocked that we didn’t know where or what to do. 

Other witnesses reported hearing a sound like a bomb being fired as the crash, one the most serious on the UK rail network in recent years, occurred.  

Angela Mattingly, a passenger on the SWR train, stated that everything went black and that there were red flashes.

“Suddenly there was a lot more jostling, possessions were being thrown around, and I think some people went forward and hit the heads. 

Driver of train who suffered ‘life-changing’ injuries was forced to retire. He is a 74-year-old rail veteran, and “probably the most experienced person in the country.”

 The hero train driver who averted tragedy in Sunday night’s rail collision at Salisbury is a 74-year-old veteran with years of rail driving experience, MailOnline can reveal.

Robin Tandy was only six seconds late to react and apply the emergency brakes. He then jumped from the driver’s seat of his cab and fled as his train collided into another tunnel.

Hero train driver Robin Tandy (pictured), who averted tragedy in Sunday night's rail collision at Salisbury, is a 74-year-old veteran with years of rail driving experience, MailOnline can reveal

Robin Tandy, a Hero Train driver, was able to avoid tragedy at Salisbury’s rail collision on Sunday night. He is a veteran rail driver with many years of experience. MailOnline can reveal.

Miraculously, no one was killed and Mr Tandy’s quick-thinking actions have been hailed by colleagues for preventing a high number of casualties and deaths following the accident.

It was also a personal cost for him, as he was airlifted from his home to University Hospital Southampton after suffering what police called ‘life-changing’ injuries.

“You just don’t know what’s happening for a few seconds.” People panicked but were not seriously hurt.

Tamar Vellacott was about half a mile away from the crash scene with her children when she heard the crash.

The 25-year-old stated that the noise was something they’d never heard before. My young ones panicked thinking it might be a bomb. We suggested that maybe a lorry had collided on London Road and not panic.

The major junction of two lines approaching Salisbury from the south or from the west is Fisherton Tunnel.

Firstly the 5.08pm Great Western Rail service from Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Temple Meads, which entered the junction from the south, is said to have hit an object the tunnel – possibly material that fell from the tunnel roof, sources said – and the rear carriage derailed. 

The train was scheduled to arrive in Salisbury around 6:28 pm, but bad weather caused delays on the rail network.

Seven minutes later, at 6.45pm, the 5.20pm SWR train, which was due to arrive in Salisbury at 6.47pm on London Waterloo, arrived from the east. 

For some reason signals had not alerted the driver of the obstruction – or had failed to stop his train if he missed the red lights.

The SWR train crashed into a GWR service station inside the tunnel. It derailed itself and skidded along its inner tunnel at 45 degrees. The tunnel wall seemed to be holding it up. 

The driver was trapped in the mangled cab and had to be freed from his captivity by emergency workers. Only one carriage remained upright.

British Transport Police Detective Chief Inspector Paul Langley stated: “This will no doubt be an incredibly frightening event for all those involved. Our thoughts are with them today.

Salisbury’s ‘Specialist Officers and Detectives’ are still on the scene. We are working closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, (RAIB), and the Office of Rail and Road in order to determine how the collision occurred.

“We are keeping an open eye, but at this early stage, there hasn’t been anything to suggest that the train struck something or that there was any significant delay between them colliding and then one derailing.”

The disruption of services through Salisbury is expected continue at least until Monday November 8.