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?

Latest update

In recent weeks, the site of the incident has changed dramatically. A team of experts from Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Network Rail, specialist contractors Adler and Allan, and Jacobs, have been working hard to remove the damaged vehicles and track, and contain and remove the diesel and contaminated land from the site.

With advice and support from the Wales Environment Group, monitoring of the area continues and mitigating the risk of further spread of diesel contamination by building temporary dams, using booms and bubble bars, and monitoring any movement of the diesel in the land through boreholes.

Recovery work at Llangennech. Photo credit: National Resource Wales
Recovery work at Llangennech with Adler & Allen environment specialists. Photo credit: National Resource Wales

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