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Nine rail workers had a ‘near-miss’ with passenger train

Posted in: Public Transport Accidents Workplace Injuries 

Nine track workers were very nearly hit by an passenger train going 80mph last month, accident investigators have reported. The rail workers had been operating on a small bridge that required repairs on the West Coast main line near Hest Bank when they were nearly hit by the train on the 22nd of September. The workers received no advance warning that a train was approaching, which could have cost them their lives.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said that the workers depended on warnings from the service about approaching trains. However no warning was given to the workers, who had to take “immediate evasive action” as the curvature of the track prevented them from realising the oncoming train between Edinburgh and Manchester Airport.

“An investigation is to be launched”

The RAIB said that the workers were forced to push themselves up against the bridge parapet to avoid being hit by the oncoming vehicle. The Lookout-Operated Warning System (LOWS) being used had failed to kick in. It had been tested prior to the incident, and had found to be working fine. An investigation is to be launched to uncover why the system did not inform the workers about the oncoming train. 

The RAIB said: “Our investigation will examine the reasons why no warning was provided to the track workers … It will consider the sequence of events and factors that may have led to the incident, and identify any safety lessons.

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