Rail worker 'nearly killed' by train at Rowlands Castle was clearing rubbish from the line

A RAIL worker removing rubbish from train tracks narrowly avoided being hit by a train as it sped through Rowlands Castle station, an investigation has found.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 2:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 5:03 pm
A CCTV image issued by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch dated 19/12/2020 of the moment a rail worker removing rubbish from train tracks at Rowlands Castle statio narrowly avoided being hit by a train. Picture: RAIB/PA Wire

The Network Rail employee scrambled back onto the platform at the train station, just one second before a non-stopping South Western Railway train passed through, according to a report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).

The investigation found that the mobile operations manager, who was not named, failed to ensure the line would be clear before going onto the tracks.

He escaped uninjured but both he and the train driver were left ‘distressed’ by the incident on December 19 last year.

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Rowlands Castle railway station. Photo: Google

The RAIB said the man was not aware the train was approaching at 60mph until he saw its headlights.

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He had telephoned a signaller at nearby Petersfield to explain that he needed to go onto the tracks to retrieve a rubbish bag thrown there by youths.

But the investigation found he did not specifically ask for the line to be blocked to trains, and he did not receive explicit permission to access the tracks.

Four safety recommendations were made by the RAIB, including that Network Rail should introduce measures to ensure its mobile operations managers are ‘suitably recruited, trained and managed’.

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