A woman was dead as she leaned out of a train window below an inadequate warning sign, a report told.
Bethan Roper, 28, was hit in the head by a tree branch while onboard a Great Western Railway (GWR) service traveling at around 75mph (120km/h) near Twerton, Bath.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) also noticed trees along the route had not been inspected since 2009. Signs around the window were renewed after Ms. Roper’s passing.
The investigation told on 1 December 2018, Ms. Roper was coming back to Penarth, South Wales, from Bath Spa station. She was with friends, and the RAIB told it supposed “at least one other friend leaned out of the window before [Ms. Roper]”.
Witnesses said to investigators Ms. Roper had her head out of the window for some seconds before dropping back into the vestibule.
Despite the efforts of other passengers, including some with medical training, she was declared dead at Bristol station, the report stated.
GWR had finished a risk assessment of its droplight windows after a prior passenger death.
It had thought to install improved warning signs by May 2018, but this had not occurred by the time of Ms. Roper’s death, investigators discovered.
GWR said to investigators it did not meet its schedule as two staff members involved in the task left the company and a system that tracks pieces of work declined.