British Rail Class 143 - Incidents

Incidents

On 17 October 2004, Wessex Trains unit 143613, forming the 20:06 2W63 service from Bristol Temple Meads to Weston-super-Mare with 143621, caught fire between the site of the former Flax Bourton railway station and Nailsea and Backwell. Fire services took two hours to get the blaze under control. Of the 23 passengers and crew three were treated on-site for the effects of smoke inhalation. One carriage was completely burnt out, and the other was badly damaged, causing the train to be written off. The line through Nailsea was closed until 03:30 the following morning, when the train was hauled to St Philips Marsh Traction and Rolling Stock Maintenance Depot for examination. The unit was later taken to Crewe Works where it was stored, then later to Cardiff Canton TMD where it was scrapped. The Rail Safety and Standards Board issued a report into the incident, concluding that the fire was caused by electrical arcing between the live starter motor cable (which had damaged insulation) and the unit's underframe, causing accumulated oily residues to ignite.

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