Railway safety and crime

23.10.18

Train’s near miss with track workers caused by mix-up over location

Two track workers working on a bridge near Dundee were almost hit by a train because the wrong section of the track was blocked off, an investigation by the RAIB has found.

Their report said that the workers were on the bridge when the 22:48 from Glasgow, travelling at 72mph, approached the bridge.

They managed to get clear of the train, one by climbing through the bridge handrail to get clear whilst the other pulled himself towards the handrail with “very little space available between him and the train.”

The RAIB said that the incident “occurred due to a number of people not realising that the location of the work, and the location where protection of the work from moving trains had been planned, were different.”

311 Figure 1

They said that lines had been blocked to allow the work to be carried out, but that the blockage had been applied about two miles east of Dundee station, rather than two miles west where the workers were situated.

The train driver spotted them on the bridge and managed to made brake and sound the horn, following which he reported the incident.

Nobody was injured, but the train did strike a portable generator being used by the track workers.

The RAIB said the incident demonstrated important safety issues around the processes and documentation surrounding work planning, showing that they can be “vulnerable or misleading.”

The RAIB said that the person in charge of the work needed to be actively involved in the planning process to minimise the chances of similar misunderstandings reoccurring.

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Image credit - _ultraforma_

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