Concerns over train tables raised after Suffolk crash

Concerns about the safety of tables on board some types of trains used by National Express East Anglia and other train companies have been raised in an accident report into a crash.

In August 2010, two carriages were derailed and 21 people injured when a sewage tanker collided with a National Express train, near Sudbury in Suffolk.

A report says most of the injuries were due to tables working loose on impact.

National Express East Anglia said it would co-operate with any reviews.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) investigation could have implications for hundreds of carriages across the rail network.

'Table legs bent'

National Express East Anglia, which leases the carriages from Porterbrook Leasing, said it used the 156 rolling stock on rural services.

The RAIB report includes pictures which show how the legs of the tables bent, thrusting the tables towards passengers.

The carriages used - on a class 156 train - date back to the 1980s, when safety standards for train tables were less stringent.

There is no suggestion that the train involved breached any safety laws.

But the RAIB report urges: "Owners and operators of Class 156 units to co-operate on producing a review of the crashworthiness performance of the tables and determine whether the table design should be changed."

National Express East Anglia - the operator of the train which crashed - said it leased the carriages from another company.

A spokesman said: "We will fully assist the train leasing company which owns the vehicles in their review of the report's recommendation."

In November 2010 the driver of the sewage tanker which collided with the train - Arvydas Bartasius, 38, of Littleport, Cambridgeshire - was jailed for 15 months after admitting endangering safety on the railway.

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