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Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003

Section 2: Meaning of “railway accident” and “railway incident”

22.Section 2 defines a railway accident or incident as an accident or incident that occurs on railway property and is or may be relevant to the operation of the railway. It also allows the Secretary of State to make regulations about what may or may not be treated as such an accident or incident or when an accident will be treated as serious

23.Regulations made under section 2(2) may detail the circumstances when an accident or incident would be relevant to the operation of the railway. Accidents or incidents which are not of relevance to the operation of the railway may not be investigated by the RAIB. Such incidents might include, for example, a minor fire in a railway station shop, or where a person trips over on a railway station concourse.

24.Section 2(3) makes clear that regulations may specify whether accidents in particular locations would be investigated by the RAIB. It is intended to use this power to provide for the particular circumstances of the Channel Tunnel, which is bi-nationally regulated through the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission. The Channel Tunnel Safety Authority has primary responsibility for investigating safety-related incidents in the Channel Tunnel. It is intended to make regulations under section 2(3) to ensure that should the Intergovernmental Commission or Safety Authority ask the RAIB to undertake any investigations within the Tunnel, it would have the power to do so.

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