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Track worker misses train collision by two seconds

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has launched a ‘preliminary examination’ into a near-miss accident of a track worker and a passenger train on 4 January near Fishguard, Pembrokeshire.

Track worker train - CCTV footage of a rail track.
Forward-facing CCTV image from a different train showing the site access point where the near miss took place (Image courtesy of Network Rail)

The track worker was the person in charge (PIC) and controller of site safety for a small team carrying out vegetation clearance work. The planned system of work mandated that the track workers were to remain at least 2m from the open line.

However, as the train approached the site of work around a tight curve at around 53mph (85kmh), its driver saw the PIC on the line ahead.

The train driver sounded the train’s warning horn and made an emergency brake application. The worker got clear of the line around two seconds before the train passed their location.

RAIB said it has published a safety digest following the assessment of evidence into the accident gathered to date.

The rail watchdog may choose to publish a safety digest rather than carry out a full investigation if “it is clear that the safety learning from an event has been identified by a previous investigation or relates to compliance with existing rules”.

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