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'Measures needed' after Gatwick Express train window death

Simon Brown Image copyright Just Giving
Image caption Simon Brown was killed when he was travelling on the Gatwick Express last August

Train companies should do more to stop passengers leaning out of train windows following the death of a man in south London, investigators have said.

Simon Brown, from West Sussex, died on 7 August 2016 after he hit his head on a gantry while heading through Balham.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said operators should add measures when there was a risk of people leaning out of train windows.

Investigators also found no reason why Mr Brown had leaned out of the train.

No drugs or alcohol were found in his system and there was no evidence he was taking photographs, they said.

Image copyright RAIB
Image caption The 24 year old leaned out of a droplight window in the centre of the carriage

Mr Brown, 24, who was originally from East Grinstead, was described by friends as a "lifelong railway fanatic" who worked as an engineering technician with Hitachi Rail Europe in Bristol.

The report found the train was travelling at about 61mph (98 km/h) when he hit the gantry.

The RAIB said there was a sticker on the door warning passengers not to lean out of the window, although this was "cluttered" with other signs.

Image copyright RAIB/Network Rail
Image caption The train had been travelling through Balham on the way to London Victoria

Investigators recommended train operators should "include consideration of means of preventing people from leaning out of windows and/or improving warning signage."

Train operator Govia Thameslink Railway Limited added hazard tape and bars on the windows of similar trains following Mr Brown's death, although the type of train is no longer used on the line.

The RAIB also found there were "avoidable delays" in the time it took for paramedics to treat Mr Brown but this would have not changed the outcome.

Image copyright RAIB
Image caption The warning sign on the door was found to be cluttered with other stickers

They also said Network Rail should share data of the clearances of structures built beside tracks with train companies so they "can make more informed decisions about the management of risk".

The gantry was found to be 26cm (10.2 in) from the train but complied with standards for existing structures.

Image copyright RAIB
Image caption The gantry was found to be 26cm (10.2 in) from the train

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