RHP has been involved in many derailments, but this was by far the most significant incident in a work site for many years, though fortunately no-one was seriously injured.
A locomotive being driven through the work site collided with the rearmost wagon of another stationary engineering train.
The speed of the collision resulted in the derailment of the locomotive and 17 wagons full of ballast from both trains. The accident occurred in a remote location that made recovery of the rail vehicles difficult and expensive, necessitating the use of a 600-tonne mobile crane for which a haul road and crane pad had to be constructed on a farmers land adjacent to the lineside.
As the collision occurred in a work site, several parties were involved, including the locomotive owner/operator (for whose property and liability insurer we acted), Network Rail, the employer of the hired-in locomotive driver, the owner of the damaged wagons, and the employer of the engineering staff working in and controlling the work site.
Initially, RHP was involved in the engineering assessment of extensive damage to the locomotive, and in the adjustment of the owner's claim, in relation to which we then pursued a recovery against the insurer of the driver's employer that was strongly contested.
RHP assisted solicitors instructed by our Principals over a period of six and a half years that it took to resolve this matter, eventually by mediation. Immediately before the mediation, we were instrumental in bringing loss adjusters for the other parties together to agree quantum of all the various claims, so that on the day, the parties' representatives were able to concentrate on the difficult liability issues and achieve complete success in resolving matters without the need for any further legal proceedings. Our Principal's agreed share was less than one third of the third-party claims, and they recovered over 60% of the locomotive repair cost.