A FRIGHTENING train crash that happened near Swindon was caused by rail workers leaving a large trolley on the track, investigators have confirmed.

A Great Western Railway passenger train carrying people travelling westbound from London Paddington towards Swansea struck the engineers' trolley at 123mph on October 21 in the early hours of the morning.

It then travelled with the trolley wedged underneath it for 1.5 miles before coming to a stop. 

Nobody on board was injured and the train did not derail. But, the handle of the trolley had become wedged underneath the front of the train and the trolley, although destroyed on impact, had caused some damage to the train’s underframe. The collision also caused minor damage to the track. 

Severe delays followed as rail engineers had to remove the mangled trolley from underneath the train and repair the track for ongoing use that day.

A preliminary investigation from The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has determined the train was the first one to pass through the area after the track had been handed back after engineering work which had taken place during the previous night.

The authority also discovered that the trolley was inadvertently left on the railway line following this work. 

The RAIB will now look to answer questions raised by the incident and identify the sequence of events that led to it. 

It said: “Our investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events that led to the collision. 

“It will also consider the processes in place for managing vehicles such as trolleys within possessions, the training, competence and management oversight of the staff involved and any factors that may have influenced their actions and any relevant underlying factors."

At the time a GWR spokesperson said: “We’re really sorry for any inconvenience caused to customers travelling between Swindon and Didcot on Thursday morning.

“Journeys were disrupted due to an object on the line.

“We would encourage anyone delayed by more than 15 minutes to claim compensation through our Delay Repay scheme.”

A similar incident in September is being investigated as part of the same inquiry.