WRONGLY positioned track points led to the derailment of a train in Penryn, an investigation has revealed.

The 12.20pm two-carriage service carrying 14 passengers from Falmouth to Truro was entering the station when it passed over a set of facing points and the leading coach ended up straddling both routes.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch published its findings today in a report of the incident, which took place on January 28 this year.

The branch line service was disrupted for several days after the derailment, to allow the train to be righted and for an investigation to take place.

The report states: "On 28 January, the signaller at Truro found that, whe he tried to set the route for train 2T76, he was unable to clear signal T9, which controls entry to Penryn station in the up direction, although he was able to oeprate hte level which controls it.

"When the train arrived at signal T9, the signaller contacted the driver by radio and authorised him to pass the signal at 'danger' (red).

"The train driver repeated back the instructions that the signaller had given him and drove the train towards the station.

"Points 27 were not in the correct position and the leading wheels of the train passed either side of the switch rails, leading to immediate derailment."

The report explains that the driver said he was concentrating on controlling the speed of the train as it entered the station and did not observe the the points were not in the correct position.

It added that Network Rail's technical investigation had shown that points 27 had been operated in the normal position about 15 minutes before the accident, and were detected in this position, but a few seconds later moved, uncommanded, to an intermediate position, causing detection to be lost.

The report outlined three safety messages arising from the accident:

* When degraded working arrangements are in operation, the protection normally provided the interlocking may be wholly or partly absent. In these circumstances, signallers need to ensure that a route is correctly set before giving permission for a train to pass over it

* This derailment acts as a reminder to signallers that should a colour light signal fail to clear, the fact that is is possible to reverse the associated lever should never be interpreted as proof that all points in the route ahead are correctly set and locked

* Drivers of trains are reminded that in accordance with the rule book they must, when authorised to pass a signal at danger, prepared themselves on the approach to points, observe the maximum speed of 15mph and where possible look at the position of the points

For the full report visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/safety-digest-032019-penryn