Rail Accident Investigation Branch
Around 11:22 hrs on 5 October 2017, a group of track workers narrowly avoided being struck by train reporting number 1D09, the 10:03 hrs passenger train service from London Kings Cross to Leeds. The incident took place close to Egmanton level crossing, which is situated between Newark North Gate and Retford on the East Coast Main Line.
The train was approaching the crossing on the down main line at near to the maximum permitted line speed of 125 mph (200 km/h), when the driver saw a group of track workers in the distance. The driver sounded the trains warning horn, but could see no response from the group. The driver sounded the horn again a few seconds later. He could still see no response, so he initiated an emergency brake application, while continuing to sound the horn.
As the train approached, the group of track workers became aware of the trains warning horn and started to move into the cess. However, the last member of the group got clear of the track very shortly before the train passed them. The train was still travelling close to 125 mph (200 km/h) as it passed the point where the group had been working. It subsequently came to a stand around 0.9 miles (1.4 km) after the emergency brake application was made.
There were no injuries. However, the driver, who believed that the train had struck members of the group, was distressed by the incident.
Our investigation will determine the sequence of events. It will also include consideration of:
- how the system of work the team was using was planned and authorised, including the availability of protection and warning systems
- the way in which the system of work the team were using was implemented on site, including how this may have been affected by the layout of the track, the proximity of the crossing and the work being undertaken
- the competence management of those involved in the planning, authorisation and implementation of the system of work
- the non-technical skills of the site team and any issues associated with workload and fatigue
- any relevant underlying cultural or management factors
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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