£800,000 fine after worker hit by 80mph train

Aaron Morby 6 years ago
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Network Rail has today been fined £800,000 after a track worker nearly lost his arm from being struck by a Gatwick Express train travelling at 80mph. 

CCTV image shows the moment just seconds before a railway worker was struck
CCTV image shows the moment just seconds before a railway worker was struck

The experienced track worker was supervising a gang of eleven people engaged in undertaking repairs to the Up Quarry line between Redhill Tunnel and Quarry Tunnel in Surrey two and a half years ago.

Alan Evans was hit while walking next to the track near Redhill by a passenger service from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria and sustained serious life-changing injuries.

His right shoulder bore the brunt of the impact and his right arm was left hanging on by the skin.

He went through 22 surgical procedures after the accident and may still have to have his right arm amputated.

Today’s sentencing hearing at Guildford Crown Court follows an extensive ORR investigation into the incident.

ORR inspectors concluded that the work on the main line between Brighton and London was inadequately planned and managed, placing track maintenance workers in unnecessary danger.

The Court heard that works were scheduled while fast, frequent trains continued to run, in an area with a narrow and steep embankment where the ability of track workers to retreat to a ‘position of safety’ when trains approached was materially compromised.

The Court also heard that the works could have been carried out at night, when other scheduled works would have ensured that no trains were running.

ORR Principal Inspector Tom Wake, said: “This incident shows that although Britain’s railways are the safest in Europe, we can never be complacent.

“In 2014, Network Rail’s planning of track maintenance work near Redhill fell below legal standards, placing workers in unnecessary danger and causing an employee to suffer life changing injuries.

“After the incident, Network Rail undertook a review of worker safety on the London to Brighton line, reducing track maintenance with trains running, introducing better warning systems and providing additional training for staff.”

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