Wales

Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth 60mph train almost hit rail worker

The view from the 'access point' near to where the rail worker was almost struck Image copyright RAIB
Image caption The worker was unable to hear the train until it was "virtually upon him", the report states

A rail worker was almost hit by a train travelling at about 60mph (96kmh), a report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has said.

The worker was unable to hear the train horn until it was "virtually upon him" at Ynyshir, near Dovey Junction station in Ceredigion on 2 April.

No-one was injured but the train driver and a number of rail workers were left "shaken", the report added.

Network Rail said more needed to be done to improve safety.

"Safety is a key priority and we take incidents like the near miss with track workers at Ynys Hir extremely seriously," a spokesperson said.

"It is a reminder that more needs to be done to improve safety on the railway."

Earlier this month, it announced a new £70m Track Worker Safety Task Force.

News of the near-miss comes just weeks after two rail workers were killed near Port Talbot.

Image copyright Jaggery/Geograph
Image caption The incident happened on the railway near Dovey Junction station

In the latest incident, a group of two Network Rail workers and six contractors had been carrying out work on the Cambrian Line in Ceredigion when they became separated while walking back to an access point.

The 10:29 service from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth was travelling at 59mph (95kmh) when it almost hit the worker at about midday.

Two members of the group had already made it to safety when the driver sounded the first horn.

The driver had to sound the horn again 10 seconds later when he saw a worker walking between the rails with his back to the train.

Emergency braking

But the worker did not hear this or a subsequent sounding of the horn until the driver had applied emergency braking, at which point the man "immediately moved clear".

A lookout had been assigned to provide the group with a warning of approaching trains but was not effective because the group had separated, the report concluded.

The RAIB said the lookout "may not have been regularly looking back" because he was not expecting a train for another 45 minutes.

It was also a windy day which might explain difficulty with communication, the report added.

The investigation suggested a series of short warnings by the driver might have made the worker aware of the train earlier.

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