One Second From Death: Rail Workers Narrowly Avoid 125mph Train

17 August 2018, 09:59

Railway workers were forced to scramble to safety as a train sped towards them at 125 miles-per-hour.

The near-miss happened near Egmanton level crossing on the East Coast Main Line on 5th October last year.

The three workers, part of a group supplied to Network Rail by Vital Human Resources, only became aware of the train just three seconds before it reached them.

One worker spotted the danger and shouted to the others to get out of the way just just a second to spare.

A report from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch talked of shocking safety practices.

They said the leader of the group, employed by Network Rail, had skimped on safety to get the job done more quickly.

Workers scramble to safety as a train approaches
Workers scramble to safety as a train approaches. Picture: Virgin East Coast Mainline

Simon French, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents, said: "When the person in charge of a team is both a strong personality and an employee of the client, it can be particularly hard for contract workers to challenge unsafe behaviour.

"In this investigation, RAIB found that the person in charge had adopted an unsafe method of working in an attempt to undertake additional unplanned work.

"Both the person in charge and team members became distracted, and the result was that three of them found themselves jumping clear of a train travelling at 125 miles per hour with just one second to spare.

"This came so close to being a major tragedy."

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Safety is our top priority and we take incidents such as the one at Egmanton extremely seriously and we have worked closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch on this report.

"We work hard to prevent incidents like this happening and we have already begun to implement the recommendations made.”

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