Making railways safer

50 years experience in rail accident investigation

Mike McLoughlin

Brief details of my experience includes:

  • 30 years in the British Rail Research Division with final post as Chief Derailment Investigator. Subsequently worked as a Derailment Investigation Consultant with an international consultancy company for six years followed by ten years with a major training company as Director, Rail Accident Investigations.
  • Independently investigated hundreds of derailments. Acted as panel member of numerous Railway Inquiries and Expert Witness in Court cases. Determined new flange climb mechanism on hardened steel facing points leading to new methods of detection and control actions, and identified the phenomenon currently known as ‘Cyclic Top’,
  • Investigated freight train derailments in Bangladesh on behalf of the British Government Overseas Development Agency.
  • Conducted investigations into freight wagon derailments on the Kowloon -Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) in Hong Kong and recommended measures to minimise recurrence.
  • Designed and delivered training courses in Derailment Investigation for UK companies, the MTRC and KCRC in Hong Kong together with seminars and courses in Accident Investigation and Causes and Consequences of Derailments. Courses in Hong Kong ran from 1989 to 2012.
  • Guest Lecturer on the Cranfield University pilot courses in Fundamentals of Accident Investigation for Air, Marine and Rail accident investigators.
  • Provision of consultancy support for Queensland Rail in derailment mitigation measures and joint delivery of Derailment Cause Analysis courses for QR personnel and external companies/organisations from 1999 to 2010.
  • Projects 2011 were public seminars on Derailment Management & Investigation in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and training for BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group at Port Hedland, Australia.
  • 2012 projects; Derailment Investigation Workshops, Canberra, Australian Rail Industry Safety & Standards Board; QR National (Aurizon) derailment reduction projects, Queensland.
  • 2013-2015 Lectures and training courses - TasRail, Tasmania, Cranfield University guest lecturer, and Network Rail, UK.
  • 2016 Derailment Investigation \ Prevention seminars and training courses as Professor at IME Military Engineering University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Railway Safety consultancy and related investigation training undertaken in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, United States of America, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil