Damaged CrossCountry train (Photo ORR)

UK: A train driver who was distracted by a using mobile phone leading to a collision between a DB Cargo locomotive and a passenger train has been sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

He must also undertake 120 h of unpaid work and pay £600 compensation to the other driver after being found guilty of breaching the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The incident occurred at Bromsgrove on March 13 2020. After entering the siding at Bromsgrove station, Mark Andrew Hubble lost concentration after reading a picture message on his mobile phone and failed to control the speed of his locomotive, which struck the buffer stops, derailing and partially obstructing the adjacent main line.

A passing CrossCountry passenger train then struck the locomotive.

There were no injuries, but there was extensive damage to both the locomotive and the passenger train.

Sentencing, Judge Cartwright said ‘luckily there were only six people on board; the guard, driver and four passengers. But for the lockdown, the train might otherwise have been carrying a good number of others. Alan Jones, the driver, was immediately covered in glass, his driver’s door torn open. If the locomotive had derailed a little further over, this would have been a head-on collision and he would have been killed.’

The prosecution of the driver was brought by the Office of Rail & Road. ‘We are pleased with the outcome of this case’, said HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser on January 10. ‘It sends a clear message to drivers about their responsibilities.’