Railway safety and crime

04.01.19

Track workers in near-miss with 101mph East Midlands train

Two track workers were nearly hit by a train travelling over 100mph in Bedfordshire, an investigation has revealed.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said two workers “had to jump out of the way” of the approaching East Midlands train travelling at 101mph, but neither were injured.

The near-miss took place at Sundon at around 23:50 on 12 December 2018.

The RAIB said it has undertaken a preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, and has decided to publish a safety digest.

The full safety report will be published on its website in the next few weeks.

This is the second near-miss incident the RAIB has investigated in the last month after a train service travelling towards London Euston on 11 March narrowly missed a group of track workers whilst they were placing trolleys on the track alongside South Hampstead station.

Chief inspector of rail accidents, Simon French, said: “There have been too many near misses, such as this one at South Hampstead, in which people have had to jump for their lives at the last moment. In the case of the near miss at Egmanton in October 2017, a multi-fatality accident was only avoided with two seconds to spare.

“The number and type of near misses in recent years is hugely disappointing given the efforts made to address track worker safety during that time. Every near-miss, however caused, should be viewed as a failure of the system to deliver safety.”

Image credit - East Midlands Trains

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