Network Rail image of emergency response training at Sutton Coldfield station in the West Midlands

Network Rail completes emergency response training with police, fire and ambulance services

Network Rail was joined by emergency response partners over the weekend to test how services react to an ‘incident scenario’ inside a railway tunnel in the West Midlands.

Professionals from Network Rail and West Midlands Railway were joined by police, fire and ambulance services to undergo rescue training in the tunnel outside Sutton Coldfield station.

During the training, a train provided by the Rail Operations Group was made to look as if a tree had fallen and struck it, subsequently bringing down the overhead wires.

The event took place through the night of Saturday 16 March and included approximately 250 people.

Rescuers were tasked with helping volunteers mimicking train crew and passengers, with the added environmental difficulties such as lack of light, limited space, no power, and smoke to imitate a fire.

The operations director for Network Rail Central, Martin Colmey, described the training as “invaluable” and a “great success” before further explaining that the day “had not only enhanced our emergency planning but allowed us and partners to test our joint response and be prepared”.

Partners included:

  • Network Rail
  • West Midlands Railway
  • West Midlands Fire Service
  • West Midlands Ambulance Service
  • West Midlands Police
  • British Transport Police
  • Rail Operations Group

West Midlands Railway’s director of health, safety, security and environment, Jamie Ainsworth, said: “As the operator on the Cross-City Line, it was imperative to work alongside Network Rail and industry partners to carry out emergency rescue training for staff.”

He added: “Keeping the railway safe is our top priority and it is crucial that railway staff are prepared to deal with emergency incidents effectively.”

Image credit: Network Rail

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