Materials Failure Rail Failure due to RCF resulting in the Hatfield Train Derailment Derailment 17th October 2000 The immediate cause was found to be the fracture and subsequent fragmentation of the rail. Cause - Rolling Contact Fatigue (RCF) Contact Stresses Figure 1. Straight Track Figure 2. Tight Curved Track Typical RCF Samples from Derailment Zone Legal Outcome The largest fines imposed in the English Courts for H&S offences on the Railway reflected the severity of the case. Network Rail as Railtrack’s successors being fined £3.5 million. BBRML fined £10 million. The Judge stated that the company's failure to abide by safety rules was “the worst example of sustained industrial negligence in a high-risk industry I have ever seen”.
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