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Rail workers forced to jump clear of oncoming train

Two rail workers were forced to jump clear of an oncoming train which then crushed the trolley they were using on the line.

Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is investigating an incident in which a train almost struck two construction workers, and collided with a small trolley on the Up Airport line between Heathrow Airport Tunnel and the Stockley Flyover.

The incident occurred at about 10.05 on 28 December 2014 and involved the 09.48 service from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to London Paddington. The track workers jumped clear just before the approaching train struck a small engineering trolley that they had been placing on the line. The train, formed by a Class 332 electric multiple unit, was travelling at approximately 36mph when it struck the trolley.

The two track workers were among a large number of people carrying out construction work on the approach to a new bridge that had been recently constructed adjacent to the existing Stockley Flyover. This new structure, which carries a new railway track over the mainline from London Paddington to Reading, was built as part of the Crossrail surface works being undertaken by Network Rail.

To enable this work to take place, parts of the operational railway in and around the construction site had been closed for varying periods during the few days before the incident. According to the RAIB the two construction workers were unaware that the Up Airport line had returned to operational use a few hours before they started to place the trolley onto this line.

The two workers were employees of Carillion, contracted by Network Rail to conduct the works.

The RAIB investigation will seek to establish the sequence of events as well as examine how the work was planned, how the staff involved were being managed and the way in which railway safety rules are applied on large construction sites adjacent to the operational railway.

RAIB will also consider whether there is any overlap between this incident and the factors that resulted in an irregular ‘dangerous occurrence’ at the same construction site on the previous day. A gang of railway workers walked along a line that was open to traffic, and without any form of protection, until other construction workers warned them that the line was open.

(Image source: Carillion via RAIB)

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


Jak Jaye   23/01/2015 at 16:00

Should have been @London Bridge wouldn't have seen a train for hours!

Derek Mulvana   24/01/2015 at 09:14

Hope the investigation gets to the bottom of this...also why was the workers not wearing any protection regardless of if the line was open or not?

PM   24/01/2015 at 20:58

Derek: the statement says that the workers did not have any form of protection (i.e. against train movements). This does NOT mean they weren't wearing protective clothing!

Craig   25/01/2015 at 00:53

The reason was not properly briefed by engineering supervisor and workers used wrong acesses point

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