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Railhub Archive
2005-10-17 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Secretary of State opens new Rail Investigation Branch

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Department for Transport

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Department for Transport

Secretary of State opens new Rail Investigation Branch

17 Oct 2005 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release

Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State has launched the new Rail Accident and Investigation Branch (RAIB), which from today has responsibility for carrying out independent investigations into railway accidents in the UK.

The aim of RAIB is to improve the safety of the railways. RAIB achieves this by identifying the causes of accidents and other factors which might have made the outcome worse and then making recommendations to prevent reoccurrence.

The RAIB's investigations are entirely independent of the industry, regulatory and prosecution organisations and are focused solely on safety improvement not the apportionment of blame or liability.

The RAIB will investigate accidents on mainline, metro, light rail, heritage and some cable hauled rail systems. It's been operating in shadow mode since April 1.

Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Transport, said:

"The launch of RAIB puts the investigation of rail accidents on a new footing. The RAIB has the important responsibility of ensuring the causes of accidents are identified as quickly as possible, shared publicly and effective recommendations are made to prevent similar occurrences."

Carolyn Griffiths, Chief Inspector of the RAIB, said:

"It has been a particular privilege to create this new organisation including developing its operating policies and procedures, recruiting and training an experienced and skilled team and putting in place logistics for two operational centres in Woking and Derby. Through establishing and exercising operational arrangements with the industry, police, HSE and others we have developed sound relationships with those we will need to work alongside in the future. My team and I are absolutely committed to bringing benefit to both rail users and the industry through our future investigations.''

Notes to Editors

1. The RAIB is to be the investigation authority for the UK's extensive railway network. Its role is to determine the cause of accidents and severity of consequence, with the aim of improving rail safety and avoiding accidents in the future.

2. RAIB was conceived from the recommendations of the Cullen Inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove rail accident, as well as the European Commission (EC) Railway Safety Directive.

3. RAIB is independent of all industry and regulatory bodies in its conduct of investigations, and reports its findings directly to the Secretary of State for Transport.

4. Like its Air and Marine sibling operations (named AAIB and MAIB respectively), the RAIB is administratively part of the UK Government's Department for Transport (DfT).

5. More detail about the RAIB is available at

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website:

Railhub Archive ::: 2005-10-17 DfT-001


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