We're working to repair and reopen the railway following a freight train fire at Llangennech 

This is a multi-agency incident and we are working closely with DB Cargo – who operated the freight train, Puma Energy – who own the fuel that DB Cargo were carrying, Natural Resources Wales, British Transport Police and other agencies.

What happened?

Derailed freight wagons at Llangennech

At 23:17 on Wednesday 26 August a DB Cargo freight train carrying diesel derailed and caught fire near Llangennech.

The two railway colleagues on this freight service were both uninjured, and managed to separate the service to reduce the amount of wagons at risk of catching fire. The train was made up of 25 loaded wagons – each capable of holding 100,000 litres of diesel or gas oil. Of these, five wagons derailed and four were on fire. 14 wagons and the locomotive have been separated and are now away from site.

The resulting fire was significant due to the quantity of fuel the freight was carrying and as a precaution Dyfed-Powys Police evacuated a large number of homes within a radius of the fire and closed local roads. Residents were allowed to return to their homes once the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue got the blaze under control.  

An investigation has been launched by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), in conjunction with the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and British Transport Police (BTP). Network Rail will cooperate fully with this investigation.  

The railway line remains shut; the passenger services that normally operate along this section of railway are currently replaced with bus services until the railway can reopen. Natural Resources Wales are on site to assess the impact of the diesel spillage on the local environment including marine and wildlife.

What are we doing?

Update: Wednesday 18 November

Following extensive ground investigation work, led by our team of specialist environmental contractors, we’ve taken the decision to remove the track, ballast (the stones supporting the track) and substructure along 150m of the railway at a depth of up to 2m and a width of 20m.

This means we’ll be removing a huge amount of material off-site for treatment and remediation but we believe this is absolutely the right thing to do minimise any impact on the environment for future generations.

The majority of this work will be taking place during the day and we will do our best to keep any increase in noise levels to a minimum, but this will mean an increase in vehicles moving to and from site to remove the material. I am sorry for any inconvenience this causes you and we’re grateful to the community for continuing to bear with us while we work to restore the railway.

What’s next?

The work at Llangennech is expected to continue throughout December ahead of a possible reopening of the line after the new year. 

As always, we remain grateful to our partner agencies for their support and extend our thanks to the teams on the ground for their hard work during these challenging times.

Contact us

Get in touch with us using our helpline, live chat or online form. Visit our contact us page for more information.

Wales and Borders Twitter feed