Electrical equipment exploded on a passenger train causing “considerable damage”, accident investigators have revealed.
No passengers were on board the CrossCountry train when the blast happened shortly after 6am on September 26, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said.
The train had earlier departed from a depot in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire and the driver only discovered what had happened when they were walking through the carriages after stopping in Birmingham.
The equipment which exploded was inside a cupboard located in a vestibule near a set of train doors.
An RAIB spokesman said: “At around 6.11am on 26 September 2019, an explosion occurred in an electrical equipment cupboard located in a coach vestibule as an empty train departed from Central Rivers depot.
“The explosion resulted in considerable damage to the vehicle interior, which was not discovered until the driver moved through the train to change ends at Birmingham New Street station.”
A preliminary examination has been carried out by the RAIB, which will publish a safety digest in the coming weeks.
CrossCountry said the cause of the explosion was “quickly identified” and a “minor modification” was carried out on similar trains in its fleet to prevent further incidents.
Tom Joyner, the operator’s managing director, said: “The safety of our customers and staff is always our highest priority.
“We are grateful to our engineers and maintenance company for ensuring so quickly that this cannot happen again.”
This weekend marks 160 years since the death of Robert Stephenson, one of the greatest railway and civil engineers of all time.
Through cutting-edge transport technology, Robert and his father George Stephenson reshaped the Britain of their day.
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