News story

Near miss with track worker, Peterborough

Investigation into a near miss with a track worker, Peterborough, 20 July 2018.

Image from forward facing CCTV showing the incident (image courtesy of London North Eastern Railway)
Image from forward facing CCTV showing the incident (image courtesy of London North Eastern Railway)

At around 10:52 hrs on 20 July 2018, a track worker, acting as a site lookout for another track worker, narrowly avoided being struck by the 09:16 hrs Leeds to King’s Cross passenger service, just to the south of Peterborough station.

The train was approaching along the up fast line at around 102 mph (164 km/h) when the driver saw the site lookout, sounded the train’s warning horn, and applied the train’s brakes.

The site lookout moved out of the path of the approaching train about three seconds before the train passed him.

Because of the layout around Peterborough station and the speed of non-stopping trains, a distant lookout was needed to warn the site lookout when trains were approaching from the north, so he had enough time to warn the track worker and move off the track and into a position of safety until trains had passed. On this occasion, the site lookout was not warned of the approaching train because the distant lookout was not in place.
A distant lookout had been posted near the south end of Peterborough station, but believed he had been stood down. Another distant lookout, for a group of track workers working north of Peterborough station, was working from this position but looking for trains approaching from the south. As a result, this distant lookout did not see the train approaching from the north nor provide a warning.

Our investigation will determine the sequence of events. It will also include consideration of:

  • the actions of those involved
  • the number of different work groups using lookout protection around Peterborough station before and during the incident
  • the planning of the work of the various work groups in the vicinity
  • any relevant underlying management factors

Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.

We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.

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Published 13 August 2018