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Sat September 22 2018

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Rail workers were two seconds from death

12 Apr Rail accident investigators are analysing an incident last month in which a group of track workers were nearly killed by a speeding train in north London.

Image from forward facing CCTV showing the incident. The bright spots are light reflections. (Image courtesy of West Midland Trains.)
Image from forward facing CCTV showing the incident. The bright spots are light reflections. (Image courtesy of West Midland Trains.)

A night crew was working on the track between South Hampstead station and Primrose Hill tunnels on one of the lines into London Euston station. At around 00:40 hrs on 11th March 2018 they narrowly avoided being struck by the 22:14 Birmingham New Street to London Euston passenger train.

The train was moving at around 49 mph along the up fast line when the driver saw the track workers, sounded his horn and applied the brakes. The track workers, who believed that they were working on the up slow line, heard shouts from other workers and the train’s horn and saw the headlights of the approaching train. They hurried to get out of the way and removed two trolleys that they had placed on the track just two seconds before the train passed.

One person injured their knee as they moved out of the way of the approaching train. Several of the people involved in the near miss, and several people who saw it, were very distressed.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch is looking at how the work was planned and authorised, including the adequacy of the geographic information provided for those on site. It also looking at site safety procedures, the competence management of those involved in the planning, authorisation and implementation of the system of work, and any relevant underlying cultural or management factors.

MPU

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