November 27, 2023 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Passenger Injury Due to Risky Step Down, UK

step down

A UK passenger was seriously injured when arrival step down proved a faulty risk.

At 11:50 am, Saturday, January 14, 2023, a UK passenger alighting from a train at Great Central Railway’s Loughborough Central station lost his footing on the step down and sustained a serious injury. The train had made a planned stop at platform 1. The door used by the passenger opened onto the platform end ramp, approximately 1.6 metres beyond the end of the level part of the platform.

The passenger, who was visually impaired, lost his footing and fell while alighting from the train because he was unable to safely negotiate the step down onto the platform end ramp.

This was because the level platform was only around two meters longer than the distance needed to safely accommodate all of the train’s doors, and the train’s brakes were not performing in a consistent, predictable manner. Measures implemented by the railway had not effectively controlled the risk of passengers using doors which were not adjacent to usable platforms.

RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) identified two underlying factors:

  • Great Central Railway did not have effective processes for learning lessons from operational experience.
  • And it had no effective process to support the identification, management and monitoring of risk.


The report makes three recommendations. The first is addressed to Great Central Railway and relates to the assessment and control of risk, learning from previous events, and ensuring that the needs of disabled passengers are considered. The second recommendation, also addressed to Great Central Railway, relates to auditing and assurance of its risk management activities. The third recommendation is made to the Heritage Railway Association and relates to the provision of guidance on managing the risks around the passenger / train interface at heritage railway stations.

RAIB has identified two learning points. The first is a reminder of the importance of having a robust system to manage staff training and competence records. The second reminds duty holders of the importance of prompt accident reporting.

Source content/credit: RAIB, “Report 13/2023: Serious injury to a passenger alighting from a train at Loughborough Central station,” published October 31, 2023.

Accident, Investigations
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