Railway safety and crime

26.09.19

A track worker narrowly escapes train near Gatwick Airport

A track worker had a lucky escape as he had a near-miss with an oncoming train between Horley and Gatwick Airport stations between Surrey and West Sussex on December 2 2018.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), set up to prevent future rail accidents, has today released the report and CCTV footage of 23:24, when the worker, a controller of site safety (COSS) was working on electrical isolation of conductor rails and managed to dodge the train moments before it would have struck.

BAM Nuttall planners didn’t have the information that would have told exactly where the work was being carried out on the track. This was due to the isolation planning process by The Network Rai.

According to RAIB, the people responsible for the planning didn’t have enough experience to provide a system of work which would have protected the worker from all train movements close to the location of the task.

COSS were aware of the inadequate planned system in place but chose to go ahead with the task without alternative safety measures.

The unsafe method of working, caused by Network Rail not providing information to external planners, was not questioned by a second track worker before the incident.

Following the incident, the RAIB has called for Network Rail to make amendments to the isolation planning process ensuring that all workers receive the relevant information in order to work safely.

BAM Nuttall have also been advised to not plan work without sufficient information and appropriate protection measures.

Four learning points have been taken from the near-miss to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, including challenging unsafe work practices, safe systems of work, seeking additional information and the use of train horns,

Simon French, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents said:

“Once again, the RAIB has to report on an alarming near-miss between a train and a track worker. We have seen far too many of these incidents in recent years, and the recent tragic accidents at Stoats Nest Junction, just a few miles from Gatwick, and at Margam, which is still under investigation, are a stark reminder of how terrible the consequences of mixing trains and people can be.”

“When engineering work takes place on and around lines electrified on the conductor rail system, it is important that the conductor rails are isolated and earthed, to protect everyone from electrical hazards.”

 

Image from forward facing CCTV camera on approaching train (courtesy of Govia Thameslink Railway)

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

RIA welcomes new report of EU rail supply competitiveness

22/10/2019RIA welcomes new report of EU rail supply competitiveness

The UK Rail Industry Association (RIA) has welcomed a new report on the EU rail supply industry as an “important step forward” in dev... more >
Lincoln to London Azuma services transformation

21/10/2019Lincoln to London Azuma services transformation

A new Azuma service between Lincoln and London King’s Cross has been launched today (Oct 21) by London North Eastern Railway (LNER). T... more >
Knaresborough railway station upgrade complete

21/10/2019Knaresborough railway station upgrade complete

Network Rail has carried out a £150,000 upgrade to Knaresborough railway station, improving the roof of the Grade II listed building a... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

18/10/2019NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

Switch up your playlist with the first #WeAreRTM podcast, gain exclusive insight into the leaders running the rail industry their opinions on recent headlines, visions for the future and meet the personalities behind the job titles. It's not your average interview. Anna-Jane Hunter, Network Rail’s director, North of England rai... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

RIA welcomes new report of EU rail supply competitiveness

22/10/2019RIA welcomes new report of EU rail supply competitiveness

The UK Rail Industry Association (RIA) has welcomed a new report on the EU rail supply industry as an “important step forward” in dev... more >
The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >