A TRAIN driver sped through a 20mph zone at almost 100mph over the limit.

A report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch revealed the London to Bristol Great Western Railway train was travelling at 117mph near Dauntsey, Wiltshire, on August 12.

Hot weather and a track defect meant the speed limit had been cut from the national standard of 125mph to 20mph at the time.

The report said that, as Network Rail had not informed GWR, the driver was not aware and assumed the speed limit side had fallen off the side of the track.

He spotted the 20mph board at the start of the affected zone and applied his brakes, but was still going at 105mph when he passed through it.

No damage was caused and there were no injuries.

The RAIB said: “We have reviewed the findings of this preliminary examination and have decided not to carry out any further investigation of the incident.

“This incident is an example of circumstances in which a warning of an ESR ahead would be valuable. The driver was misled by the way the lineside information was presented, which did not sufficiently highlight that the existing ESR had been modified such that passenger trains were now affected. 

“We have written to Network Rail and RSSB, copied to the Office Rail and Road, to alert them to this event and the circumstances surrounding the application of the speed restriction. We have also brought the need for action to implement the previous relevant recommendations to their attention.”