The Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre are offering a workshop series for the rail industry, carefully developed in close collaboration with the accident investigation community.

The Applied Rail Accident Investigation workshop series concentrates on the specific operational and technical aspects relevant to the most common types of rail accidents. You can book individual workshops or the entire three-week course.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 10 - 28 Jul 2023
  • DurationFour workshops over three weeks that can be attended individually, or as a three-week course.
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost

    Workshop 1: £1,650
    Workshop 2: £990
    Workshop 3: £990
    Workshop 4: £1,650*

    Fee to attend all four workshops - £4,925
    Fee to attend workshops two and three simultaneously - £1,650

    *Please note that workshop four requires a minimum number of delegates to run. 

    Concessions available

Course structure

The course can be attended as a Continuing Professional Development course, as well as part of the PgCert in Safety and Accident Investigation - Rail Transport.

What you will learn

Upon successful completion of this workshop series, you will be able to:

  • Plan initial activities at a rail accident site taking into account factors such as type and severity of accident, hazards, location, time limitations and other requirements.
  • Identify, collect, inspect and analyse information/evidence from a variety of sources appropriate to the type of accident, including physical evidence, documentary evidence and interview information.
  • Investigate occupant safety and survivability aspects in rail accident investigations.
  • Compose an accident report and develop feasible safety recommendations.
  • Successfully manage an accident investigation, both on-site and through to the publication and acceptance of recommendations.

Core content

The workshops build on the Fundamentals of Accident Investigation course to develop specialist skills for the investigation of rail accidents. Over the four workshops, experienced presenters from industry and accident investigation organisations will cover the following subjects:

Workshop 1: 10 - 14 July 2023

Essential rail accident investigation skills
Course Fee: £1,650. Accommodation Cost: £530

This workshop covers the essential skills required to conduct rail accident investigation and builds on the Fundamentals of Accident Investigation course. It includes rail accident site management and risk management, practical evidence collection and photography, applied interviewing skills, accident analysis tools, report writing and developing safety recommendations. The workshop also discusses organisational aspects and SMS investigations.

Workshop 2: 17 - 19 July 2023

Investigating Derailment Accidents
Course Fee: £990. Accommodation Cost: £318

This workshop focuses on the investigation approach of derailment accidents. It covers an overview of the mechanisms and factors contributing to derailment, such as collecting, inspecting, and interpreting evidence.  Practical exercises will be conducted on a track, including dynamic modelling of wheel/rail interface response, relevant human, and organisational factors. The workshop will partly be held on site at Northampton & Lamport Railway.

Workshop 3: 19 - 21 July 2023 

Investigating Railway Operations Accidents
Course Fee: £990. Accommodation Cost: £318

This workshop covers investigation approach of all other aspects of railway operations investigations such as level crossing accidents, Signal Passed at Danger, overspeeding, track worker/maintenance staff fatalities and near-misses, platform safety including platform-train interface and train door irregularities, train/vehicle runaways and authorised movements, and train/rail vehicle collisions. The workshop will also address investigations related to light rail (tram) and driverless operations. Relevant human factors aspects will be covered on first day of the workshop.

Workshop 4: 24 - 28 July 2023

Rail accident investigation simulation*
Course Fee: £1,650. Accommodation Cost: £530

A five-day practical exercise in a simulated accident investigation scenario where delegates can apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the Fundamentals of Accident Investigation course and other workshops in the Applied Rail Accident Investigation series. The simulation takes the delegate through the entire investigation process from notification, site investigation, interviews, analysis, report writing and formulating recommendations.

*Currently this workshop is only for applicants who have completed the Fundamentals of Accident Investigation course or have an appropriate background, initial training and experience.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

All of the short courses within the Safety and Accident Investigation Centre are available as standalone courses. Our postgraduate programme in Safety and Accident Investigation allows you to combine many of our courses towards a part-time postgraduate qualification.

Structure of accident investication course

Who should attend

The workshop series is designed for rail accident investigators, incident officers, accredited agents, safety managers and other professionals involved in rail safety.

All lectures and workshops will be in English and due to the intensity of the course, those without a thorough knowledge of English would be at a severe disadvantage. There are no formal qualifications for entry.

Organisations that have already benefitted from the course: 

• Accident Investigation Board Norway
• Accident Investigation Board Denmark
• Dutch Safety Board
• Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau
• Etihad Rail
• GISAF Portugal
• Infrabel Belgium
• Korean Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board
• Ministry of Public Works and Transport Spain
• Network Rail UK
• Rail Accident Investigation Unit Ireland
• Railway Accident and Incident Investigation Belgium
• Railway Traffic Accident Investigation Agency Croatia
• Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board
• Transport Accident Investigation Commission New Zealand
• Transportation Safety Bureau Hungary.


One of the key benefits of this course is our ability to bring together a world-class group of experts to share their experiences with delegates. Past presenters included accident investigators and experts from UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch, UK Network Rail, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, European Railway Agency, Infrabel, University of Edinburgh, Dutch Safety Board, and Intergo.


Where three delegates or more are booking from within one site or one organisation, a discount of 10% will apply to the invoice for the course tuition fee. Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme. Please ask about our discount scheme at time of booking.

Accommodation options and prices

We are pleased to offer an exclusive accommodation package at our Mitchell Hall hotel. Located on campus, all rooms are en-suite and available on a half-board basis from Sunday to Friday. The cost of this package is £2,000. 

If you would like to book our accommodation package for this short course*, please indicate this on your registration form. Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel. 
*Subject to availability. 

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.