THE value of having guards on trains has been illustrated by an incident in which a brick was thrown from a bridge, leaving the driver needing help to get to a nearby station, a union has said.
A South Western Railway (SWR) service was struck by an object near Basingstoke on Tuesday, smashing the windscreen.
The guard went to the driver’s cab to help him take the train to Basingstoke station.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union said the incident proved the value of having guards on trains – the issue which has sparked a series of disputes at companies including SWR.
RMT members on SWR and Southern Rail will strike for 48 hours from November 8 during ongoing rows over the role of guards and driver-only trains.
General secretary Mick Cash said: ‘This was a shocking incident that could have had fatal consequences and if, as suspected, it was caused by a brick thrown from a bridge, RMT would expect every effort to be made to find those responsible and bring them to book.
‘The incident also shows in the clearest possible terms the value of the guard on South Western Railways.’
An SWR spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that the 14.59 South Western Railway service from Portsmouth Harbour to London Waterloo was struck by an object apparently thrown from an overbridge on Tuesday approximately three miles from Basingstoke station.’