February 1, 2011 | Mark Paradies

UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch Press Release: Investigation into a member of staff being struck by a passenger train at Torworth, Nottinghamshire, 8 January 2011

Here’s what the UK RAIB had to say:

The RAIB is investigating an accident that occurred near Torworth level crossing just before midnight on 08 January 2011.  The operator of a tamping machine was struck by a passenger train while walking on the Down Main line.  The train, 1D53, the 22:00 hour service from London Kings Cross to Leeds, was travelling at around 100 mph (160km/h).

At the time of the accident the tamper operator was walking towards his tamping machine. It was standing on the Up Main line which was closed to normal traffic (i.e. was within an engineering possession). The Down Main line was still open to traffic to allow the passage of the last service train, ID53.

The tamper operator became aware of the approach of the train behind him and tried to move clear, but received a glancing blow to his left leg. His bag was pulled from his left shoulder and carried away by the train. The tamper operator suffered severe bruising to his left leg and an injury to his shoulder.

On arrival at Torworth level crossing, a point of access for the work activities, the tamper operator had incorrectly assumed that the Down Main line had been closed to traffic and walked towards his machine with his back to the normal direction of the trains. The driver of train 1D53 saw the tamper operator ahead, and judged that he had moved clear. As a result the train did not stop and continued its journey.

The investigation will include a review of information provided to the tamper operator and the arrangements for staff to reach work trains located within engineering possessions.

The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigations by the safety authority (the Office of Rail Regulation).

The RAIB will publish a report, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of its investigation. This report will be available on the RAIB website.

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