Latest Rail News

27.02.13

Network Rail fined £100,000 after track worker hit by train

Network Rail has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000 for safety failings that allowed a track worker to be hit by a train and seriously injured.

The ORR prosecuted Network Rail for breaches of health and safety law after the incident in March 2010. Track maintenance worker Terence Wray was repairing a fault at Cheshunt Junction in Hertfordshire when he was struck by a train and badly injured.

Network Rail pleaded guilty in November and has just been sentenced at St Albans Crown Court.

An ORR investigation found that work at the junction had not been properly managed. The court heard evidence that the work was inadequately planned by unqualified personnel and, despite safer methods being available, was scheduled to be carried out whilst trains continued to run, placing the track maintenance workers in unnecessary danger.

Tom Wake, the ORR’s deputy director railway safety, said: “The safety of track workers, and all those working on Britain’s railways, is a top priority for ORR. Where maintenance work takes place it should be planned, well managed and not place workers in unnecessary danger.

“In this case, Network Rail’s management and planning for maintenance of the track at Cheshunt Junction, Hertfordshire was not good enough. The company’s failures caused the entirely avoidable and life-changing injuries for its employee Terence Wray.

“Since the incident Network Rail has reduced the number of works taking place on tracks whilst trains continued to run, further protecting the safety of its employees. The regulator will continue to monitor the company’s management of rail maintenance and we will always step in when required to protect those working on, and using, the railway.”

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