Berkshire

Railway engineers had nine seconds to escape 67mph train

Ascot railway station Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption One of the workers spotted the train's headlight approaching Ascot station and both managed to climb onto the platform before the train passed

Two railway engineers had nine seconds to climb on to a platform to escape a train travelling at 67mph following a "breakdown in communications".

The pair, who had been told to start work at Ascot station, were forced into action when they saw a headlight approaching in the dark.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the driver managed to slow the train to 43mph when he saw them.

It followed a mix-up by the controller of site safety, the report added.

In its report published on Tuesday, the RAIB said the "near miss" occurred due to a "breakdown in communications" between the station's controller of site safety and protection controller.

'Sounded horn'

The RAIB said the controller of site safety incorrectly believed they had been informed the line blockage was in place when they instructed the engineers to begin working.

One of the workers spotted the train's headlight and both managed to climb onto the platform before the train passed.

The driver sounded his horn and slowed the train to 43mph in the nine seconds it took to reach the workers. The train came to a stop with its rear carriages still inside the station.

The RAIB said the incident, which happened in the early hours of 7 April, highlighted "the importance of good quality safety critical communications".

More on this story