Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Train in near miss with 'tired' worker who had slept in car

The track worker on the line as pictured by the CCTV camera on the train Image copyright RAIB
Image caption The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the worker, pictured here by the on-train camera, was uninjured but had been left "badly shaken"

A "tired" rail worker, who had been sleeping in his car to avoid a commute, was narrowly missed by a train while working on a track, a report has found.

It happened near Shawford station, Hampshire, last June, when the train was travelling at 85 mph (137 km/h).

The accident report said the worker became distracted while on the line.

It said his alertness and decision making were likely to have affected after sleeping in his car for a week to avoid a daily commute from Essex.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the worker was uninjured but had been left "badly shaken".

The South West Trains driver was forced to make an emergency stop.

'Distracted and stopped'

The RAIB said there had been a "breakdown in safety discipline and vigilance" when the track worker and a controller of site safety (COSS) went onto the railway to locate a reported rail defect, which it likened to a fatal crash at Newark North Gate station, Nottinghamshire, in 2015.

The report said the worker crossed the railway without the permission of the COSS and "was distracted and stopped on an open line when crossing back".

It added they "did not implement the required safe system of work", and did not report their involvement in the near miss at the time.

The RAIB said it had made several recommendations to Network Rail including relating to the management of tiredness for staff needing to make long journeys before and after a shift.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said the safety of everyone who works on and uses the railway was its "top priority" and added it would review the report and the recommendations.

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