News story

Near miss with track workers at Pelaw

Investigation into a near miss with track workers at Pelaw, Tyne & Wear Metro, 21 February 2018.

Image from front of train travelling from South Shields towards Pelaw (courtesy of NEMOL).
Image from front of train travelling from South Shields towards Pelaw (courtesy of NEMOL).

At around 10:50 hrs on Wednesday 21 February 2018, two track workers were involved in a near miss incident at a junction to the south of Pelaw station on the Tyne & Wear Metro. The workers were investigating a fault with a track circuit, which is part of the signalling system. They moved onto the track after a train travelling from Newcastle towards South Shields had just passed their location. This put them in the path of a second train approaching Pelaw from South Shields. The driver of the second train, which was travelling at 37 mph (60 km/h) at the time, applied the train’s emergency brake when he saw the workers ahead. The track workers managed to move clear around two seconds before the train passed them. There were no reported injuries.

The RAIB’s investigation will determine the sequence of events and include consideration of:

  • the procedures and competence regime used to ensure the safety of track workers on the Tyne & Wear Metro
  • the application of those procedures in the planning of the work to identify the track circuit fault, and at the time of the incident
  • any previous similar incidents
  • 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 26 March 2018