News story

Near miss with track workers at Primrose Hill

Investigation into a near miss with track workers at Primrose Hill, north London, 11 March 2018.

Image from forward facing CCTV showing the incident. Note: the bright spots are light reflections (image courtesy of West Midland Trains)
Image from forward facing CCTV showing the incident. Note: the bright spots are light reflections (image courtesy of West Midland Trains)

Around 00:40 hrs on 11 March 2018, a group of track workers narrowly avoided being struck by the 22:14 hrs Birmingham New Street to London Euston passenger service. The incident took place between South Hampstead station and Primrose Hill tunnels on one of the lines into London Euston station.

The train was approaching along the up fast line at around 49 mph (79 km/h) when the driver saw a group of track workers, sounded the train’s warning horn and applied the train’s brakes. The track workers, who believed that they were working on the up slow line, heard shouted warnings from other workers, heard the sound of the train’s warning horn and saw the headlights of the approaching train. They immediately began to get out of the way and removed two trolleys that they had placed on the track. The track workers and trolleys were clear of the approaching train around two seconds before it passed.

One person injured their knee as they moved out of the way of the approaching train. Several of the people involved in the near miss, and several people who saw it, were very distressed.

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

  • how the intended work was planned and authorised, including the adequacy of the geographic information provided for those on site
  • how the work was implemented on site and the way safe work procedures were applied
  • the competence management of those involved in the planning, authorisation and implementation of the system of work
  • any relevant underlying cultural or 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 11 April 2018