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Journey by Journey => London to South Wales => Topic started by: broadgage on July 03, 2019, 11:08:19 am



Title: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: broadgage on July 03, 2019, 11:08:19 am
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-48854010 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-48854010)

Early reports state that three rail workers struck. Please be aware that this is "breaking news" and liable to be revised as more detailed reports become available.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: BBM on July 03, 2019, 11:11:27 am
Just seen the following tweet from PA media: https://twitter.com/PA/status/1146359427529936902 (https://twitter.com/PA/status/1146359427529936902)

Quote
#Breaking Two people have died after being struck by a train on railway tracks near Port Talbot in South Wales, British Transport Police say

(My thoughts to everyone involved with this very tragic incident.)


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Hafren on July 03, 2019, 11:18:50 am
On the affected train. Emergency services advised they won't be handing over for at least 2 hours. Crew being very visible and informative despite being clearly a bit shaken.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: broadgage on July 03, 2019, 11:20:42 am
Indeed, very sad.
The earlier report to which I referred made no reference to any loss of life, but yes, later reports state two fatalities.

I am sure that the bereaved and injured are in our thoughts.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: broadgage on July 03, 2019, 12:10:09 pm
Here is a later report that is more accurate and in more detail.
Includes a picture of the scene, which I appreciate that some might consider inappropriate, but as it is from a reputable and publicly available news site I see no harm in posting.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-48854010 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-48854010)


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: jamestheredengine on July 03, 2019, 12:41:05 pm
Ouch. Poor sods. Think I'm going to try heading up to Merthyr later and getting the last X75 of the day down the Vale of Neath, as I imagine it'll not be fun trying to head directly west from Cardiff when they find some rail replacement buses.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Western Pathfinder on July 03, 2019, 01:24:39 pm
Tragic ,my condolences to all involved especially the driver.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on July 03, 2019, 01:54:56 pm
BTP Statement - http://media.btp.police.uk/r/16549/statement__incident_on_the_railway_near_port_talb

Quote
Statement: Incident on the railway near Port Talbot - Wales
Update at 11.50am
 
Shortly before 10am today (03/07), officers from British Transport Police were called to the railway close to Port Talbot in South Wales, following a report of a train striking persons on the tracks.
 
Paramedics from the Welsh Ambulance Service are also on scene, very sadly two persons have been pronounced dead at the scene.
 
Media reports suggest that three persons were struck by a train. Our enquiries have only identified two people who were struck. A third person was treated for shock at the scene, they were not injured.
Superintendent Andy Morgan from British Transport Police, said: “We are making a number of urgent enquiries to understand exactly what happened in the moments leading to this fatal collision.

“Very sadly two people have died and my officers are now working to identify them and ensure that their families are supported at this incredibly difficult time.”

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch have been notified.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: broadgage on July 03, 2019, 02:20:59 pm
Tragic ,my condolences to all involved especially the driver.

"liked" not of course because I like the news, but because I agree with the sentiments expressed re sympathy with all involved, and with the driver in particular.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: phile on July 03, 2019, 02:45:52 pm
Ouch. Poor sods. Think I'm going to try heading up to Merthyr later and getting the last X75 of the day down the Vale of Neath, as I imagine it'll not be fun trying to head directly west from Cardiff when they find some rail replacement buses.

GWR Journey Check says there are 2 x double buses operating between Cardiff and Swansea.    TFW have sourced buses also.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on July 03, 2019, 05:02:31 pm
Many online sources covering the story.  The Wales Online link is being updated as things become clearer, and with reactions.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/train-port-talbot-bridgend-gwr-16523315

https://metro.co.uk/2019/07/03/two-rail-workers-dead-hit-train-10107789/


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 03, 2019, 05:15:30 pm
Speculation elsewhere suggests that the signalman didn't know they were there.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: a-driver on July 03, 2019, 05:42:12 pm
Speculation elsewhere suggests that the signalman didn't know they were there.

AFAIK they don’t always need to.

Still, desperately sad incident.  I find it absolutely disgusting when the likes of Sky publish pictures from the scene with an area blurred out. Where’s the dignity and respect for those men and all concerned with the incident?


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: bobm on July 03, 2019, 05:45:47 pm
Statement from GWR

Quote
Everyone at GWR is incredibly saddened to learn that two railway colleagues lost their lives this morning, when they were struck by the 0929 service from Swansea to London Paddington.

We have offered our full assistance to the British Transport Police, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, and Network Rail as they seek to understand the circumstances which led to this tragic accident.

We would like to take the time to thank members of the railway community and emergency services who were involved in looking after our customers and colleagues on the train following the incident, and in getting them safely onto alternative transport.

Our deepest condolences and thoughts at this incredibly difficult time are with the families, friends and colleagues of those who lost their lives.”


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: jamestheredengine on July 03, 2019, 06:10:39 pm
Ouch. Poor sods. Think I'm going to try heading up to Merthyr later and getting the last X75 of the day down the Vale of Neath, as I imagine it'll not be fun trying to head directly west from Cardiff when they find some rail replacement buses.

GWR Journey Check says there are 2 x double buses operating between Cardiff and Swansea.    TFW have sourced buses also.
I needed to head north from Cathays just after 3 for my rather pleasant attempt to emulate the Vale of Neath Railway to work; but good to know that they finally found some buses to fight their way through Cardiff traffic.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: martyjon on July 03, 2019, 06:15:38 pm
Condolences to all concerned from me.

BBC R4 news at 18.00 carried a verbal statement from a BTP spokesperson that the two fatalities were wearing ear defenders at the time of the incident.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Bob_Blakey on July 03, 2019, 07:00:12 pm
LBC also reporting  the 'Ear Defenders' statement but without the obvious qualification that in such a scenario lookouts would (?should) have been posted and therefore, I suspect, giving Joe Public a rather distorted impression of this very sad incident.

When I first heard this news I am afraid that I was not as surprised as perhaps I should have been given that recent RAIB bulletins have contained a number of 'near miss' reports.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on July 03, 2019, 07:18:40 pm
Noting the various thoughts and speculation. The BTP and RAIB are deeply into their work; as GWR's statement says "they seek to understand the circumstances which led to this tragic accident" and there is significance in those words - confirming it as a tragic accident. 

The headline speculations we've seen are just some elements of what the specialists are looking into, and I look forward to the outcomes being shared in due course so that this tragic accident is never repeated.    In the meantime, thoughts with family and friends of those who were fatally injured, and with the very wide rail community who have been effected. That's  from 'seismic shock' level but spreading out afar too.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: bobm on July 03, 2019, 08:38:15 pm
Lines have re-opened so looks like the last few services of the day will run through to their destinations.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: bignosemac on July 03, 2019, 09:03:32 pm
Not everyone had heard or read the news by mid afternoon. I overheard someone at Paddington saying, "another selfish suicide" after a PA announcement saying a Swansea service was terminating at Cardiff "due to a person hit by a train."

I put them right and got a rather insincere, "Oh, thanks." :o ::)


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: bobm on July 03, 2019, 09:06:33 pm
Most of the messages attributed the problems to “a person hit by a train” - but I did see one public message describing it as “a serious incident”


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: onthecushions on July 03, 2019, 09:33:09 pm

I was saddened to see the pixilated drone picture of the accident site and the premature BTP comments about ear-defenders. At this stage information should be for HMRI and the BTP families' liason officers.

Without speculating further, it appears that the IET stopped in 6 car lengths - remarkable presence of mind by the shocked driver.

Ear-defenders may prompt reference to the Methley Junction accident of 1987 IIRR.

Two good men lost.

OTC


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: broadgage on July 03, 2019, 09:39:12 pm
Moving on from the tragic accident itself and considering the aftermath, TPTB are in my view to be commended and thanked for re-opening the line on the same day.

After some previous incidents, I have felt that line closures were unduly prolonged.

And yes I know that it was tragic, but closing the line for three days does not make it any less tragic than closing for part of one day, full marks for opening tonight.
Investigations will be detailed, as should be after lives have been lost, but such investigations do not require a prolonged line closure.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Incider on July 03, 2019, 10:05:58 pm

I was saddened to see the pixilated drone picture of the accident site and the premature BTP comments about ear-defenders. At this stage information should be for HMRI and the BTP families' liason officers.

Without speculating further, it appears that the IET stopped in 6 car lengths - remarkable presence of mind by the shocked driver.

Ear-defenders may prompt reference to the Methley Junction accident of 1987 IIRR.

Two good men lost.

OTC


 I have dealt with too many suicide aftermaths to have much sympathy for those that choose to end it that way, but to go to work and not come home, because of an accident, which will undoubtedly have been caused by an error or mistake on someone’s part, is truly tragic and will affect many people for a long time.

Regarding the stopping in 6 car lengths, that would be remarkable given the speed the train was doing when the driver put the brake into emergency.

Terrible day for the railway and it’s family of workers.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: bobm on July 03, 2019, 10:34:15 pm
Terrible day for the railway and it’s family of workers.

If I may say so. I think that sums up the feeling of many tonight.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: jamestheredengine on July 03, 2019, 10:42:13 pm
Lines have re-opened so looks like the last few services of the day will run through to their destinations.

There goes my evil plan to work from home tomorrow! I'm expecting that it'll be one of those not enough trains in Swansea mornings with lots of cancellations, but they really have done a brilliant job to get the railway working again so quickly.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: REVUpminster on July 03, 2019, 11:06:33 pm
Should not be working a job requiring ear defenders. How would they hear any warning from lookouts? When I worked on the underground we were not allowed to wear coats with hoods in case your hearing was impaired if tempted by the weather to use the hood.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 03, 2019, 11:56:10 pm
Hmm.  As an Administrator on this forum, I'm going to step in here.

The early reference to the wearing of ear defenders by the two sadly deceased rail track workers was unfortunate, and has led to some speculation here, and elsewhere.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch immediately sent three of their inspectors to South Wales to investigate this 'serious incident'.  To me, that means there is probably much more to this very sad event than we yet know.

May I therefore request that there be no further speculation regarding this incident, until we see the conclusions of the official RAIB investigation.

Our thoughts and commiserations are with the family and friends of the deceased.



Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on July 04, 2019, 02:21:03 pm
From Gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fatal-accident-at-margam)

Quote
Fatal accident at Margam

Investigation into a fatal accident at Margam, near Port Talbot, South Wales, 3 July 2019.

At around 09:52 hrs on Wednesday 3 July 2019, two track workers were struck by a passenger train and fatally injured at Margam. A third track worker, who was very close to being struck, was treated for shock.

We will provide further details of what happened, and of our investigation, in the coming weeks.

Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry, the British Transport Police 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.

Updated to me because
Quote
You’re getting this email because you subscribed to immediate updates to ‘Rail Accident Investigation Branch’ on GOV.​UK.
and I will of course follow up with anything further.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on July 04, 2019, 04:26:51 pm
The BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-48862037) has named the men who died on the railway near Margam yesterday and has published a tribute to them.

Quote
Tributes have been paid to the two railway workers who died after being hit by a train on Wednesday.

Gareth Delbridge, 64, from Kenfig Hill and Michael "Spike" Lewis, 58, from North Cornelly, were hit by the Swansea to Paddington train near Margam.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Hafren on July 04, 2019, 09:16:29 pm
Some general thoughts on the day (without going into the incident itself).

Vibe from passengers throughout, and reflected in news reports, is that GWR et al did things right. Train crew and later a GWR manager and BTP officer made frequent announcements and regularly passed through checking on passengers and ensuring there was no confusion. Some people were clearly off to special events etc (as expected on a mid-morning intercity journey) but accepted the situation. (Apart from one who had a flight to catch!) Being directly in the situation of course helps people to feel it's not just another delay, but there was a definite human touch which left people with a positive view of 'the railway' despite the huge delay. Passengers were told to claim full refund - I wonder if that includes season tickets which IIRC aren't routinely covered by GWR Delay Repay yet. However, although usually I'm claiming for a delay as soon as the journey's over, as it is part of the operator's contractual responsibility to offer compensation, I'm not entirely comfortable with claiming in these circumstances.

As reported here many times, information provision during more usual forms of disruption is variable, and quite frankly PA announcements sometimes aren't enough. Going through the train makes all the difference. Dodgy PA, outside noise, passengers talking, perhaps someone hard of hearing can all mean messages don't get through - there have been times when I've only just made out announcements about short platforms, terminating short etc because I've been anticipating them and pick out enough words to know what's being said. On this occasion there was no doubt that passengers felt as informed as they could be in a naturally confusing situation.

A huge effort from staff who were working in nasty circumstances (and would have seen a lot more than the passengers) but made clear that passenger welfare was a priority.

Journeycheck not entirely helpful e.g. confirming how many buses were booked but not really confirming the service pattern.

The evening was a bit weaker. Cardiff Central displays showed nothing useful apart from cancellations and short workings. Given that entire screens are taken up with 'special' notices about unattended luggage etc, there's plenty of room for a summary like "Passengers for Swansea and West Wales change at Bridgend for coaches". I was basically left wondering if I should go to platform and wait for an announcement, or to the replacement bus pickup point. Therefore gateline staff are left to answer this - fine at 6.30pm but they would have been bombarded earlier. Passengers from London trains also didn't seem to know if they should go to the back for buses or take local connection to Bridgend.

On arrival at Bridgend, no staff immediately visible, and a multitude of coaches - so it was a case of picking one and asking the driver. One non-stop to Swansea and another for intermediate stations (not sure how Swanline was covered). Also one to (I think) Llanelli and Carmarthen to give West Wales passengers a head start. I think the this was because I was in a flight of 3 trains, and staff only seemed to direct passengers when the next one arrived. (Maesteg stopper, then a 6 car non-stop extra, which in reality would have been stopping behind the stopper, then the GWR Carmarthen which ran as far as Bridgend.) Passengers for the west had no idea there was a separate bus for them and naturally assumed they had to join the Swansea bus, and then had to move. It's understandable that staff availability would have been limited by then. Perhaps an information board could have been put up by that point. As it turns out, those would have been the last trains affected by the blockade.

Some from the first of the 3 trains were a bit annoyed when told the bus would wait for the next trains - perhaps they didn't realise they were literally minutes apart! They'd probably have been happier not being told and wouldn't have noticed the shortish wait! People don't like to think about the big picture sometimes...!

First news reports came from passengers and highlights how much speculation goes into early reports. Rather publish quickly and be first than wait for things to be corroborated. For example I suspect the idea that 3 were hit came from a natural interpretation of the plural.

The significance of having crew on both sets in a 10 car was made very clear. Passenger actions could have been a lot less calm and manageable had they not felt such a staff presence. I wonder how it would have been on a DOO train - in fact the news not so long ago of a Networker in South London tells us it could have been much more chaotic. I suppose DOO routes are often suburban and therefore backup shouldn't be far off, but in the meantime the driver is alone, and is often the person most affected by events. On the semi-DOO type routes that have 'commercial' grade staff I wonder if they could reassure passengers with the authority that someone of 'Guard' grade has, as someone who directly deals with train safety as the bread and butter of their role. Being a 2x5 formation also meant evacuation was effectively in two stages.

Very different from the more usual fatalities, in some of the specifics and in the level of response. Naturally there was more to investigate, given that this was a 'workplace' incident rather than someone who shouldn't really have been there.

I was impressed to see a full service running out of Swansea this morning. Historically it's more or less guaranteed after disruption that the 7.59 is cancelled or (post-HST) short-formed. It looks like only the first two of the trains that end the day at Swansea ended up being blocked, and it looks like at least one ran empty to Swansea when the line reopened. (Not sure if any Cheltenhams still run empty to/from Swansea overnight in these IET days which would have contributed to the balance.)


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 04, 2019, 09:30:16 pm
Thank you for posting that very constructive and detailed update, Hafren.



Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Electric train on July 05, 2019, 10:38:33 am
Hmm.  As an Administrator on this forum, I'm going to step in here.

The early reference to the wearing of ear defenders by the two sadly deceased rail track workers was unfortunate, and has led to some speculation here, and elsewhere.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch immediately sent three of their inspectors to South Wales to investigate this 'serious incident'.  To me, that means there is probably much more to this very sad event than we yet know.

May I therefore request that there be no further speculation regarding this incident, until we see the conclusions of the official RAIB investigation.

Our thoughts and commiserations are with the family and friends of the deceased.




Chris, I do not wish to add to the speculation to whether they were or wearing not wearing ear defenders.

I wish to clarify however there are certain activities undertaken by track workers that necessitate the wearing of PPE that may impede their ability to hear or see the approach of trains, there are well developed working practices in these circumstance.

As a working rail professional with over 40 years of experience and who still often finds himself working on the track this incident is very sobering and has deeply touched all college's     


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on July 05, 2019, 08:36:07 pm
Statement from Network Rail Media Centre (https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/statement-on-south-wales-rail-accident?)

Media release dated today, 5th July.

Quote
Thursday 4 July 2019:

Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail said: “Many of us are still reeling from the shock of the tragedy in South Wales yesterday when our colleagues, Gareth Delbridge and Michael Lewis died after being struck by a train. Gareth and Mike were extremely well respected and experienced members of the Port Talbot track team - together they have given over 84 years’ service to the railway and they will be missed.  Today I have been to South Wales to offer support to my colleagues, the families, as well as to the BTP and RAIB investigations. 

“We have also appointed an independent investigator who will be joined by trade unions and industry partners to form the investigation team.

“This is a heart-breaking reminder of how dangerous it can be to work on the railway and highlights to us all the importance of challenging anything that seems unsafe.”

Wednesday 3 July 2019:

Bill Kelly, route director, Network Rail Wales, said: “We are shocked and distressed to confirm that two members of our team lost their lives today in an accident involving a train. We do not know the details behind this dreadful accident and we are fully cooperating with the British Transport Police and Rail Accident Investigation Branch. Our thoughts are with the families of our colleagues and our members of staff who will be affected by this tragic loss, and we will provide all the support we can.”


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: MarkHopwood on July 06, 2019, 07:14:13 am
Thank you for positive comments about GWR colleagues on board the train who seem to have managed a challenging situation well.

We have some lessons to learn about provision of buses and how that works jointly with TfW.

Overwhelmingly, a sad day and I very much hope we can learn lessons quickly. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and their Network Rail colleagues.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: jamestheredengine on July 06, 2019, 03:14:34 pm
A few footnotes from my experience of the disruption surrounding this sad incident:

1) Given what's been said about the replacement bus operation (and quite how rammed those Bridgend/Maesteg stoppers are at the best of times), I definitely feel I made the right call in going up to Merthyr for the X75, rather than changing at Central and Bridgend. It was a very pleasant, fast ride down the Vale of Neath that could only be improved by running more than three times a day (and with steel wheels on steel rails of course).

2) No-one asked the company operating the X75 to accept rail tickets (so I had to pay £6 up front) – to be fair, I'd anticipated this would probably happen – but the railway staff were brilliant. Got a smile from the Taff Vale guard who understood exactly what I was doing. And the guys in the ticket office at Neath were their usual helpful selves and provided me with a claim form and stamped a bit of paper to point out to customer service that this was to do with the disruption.

3) Pleasantly surprised that both the Capitals United and the train half an hour later ran the following morning. Ended up on the later of the two as I worked out I probably didn't need to rush.

4) Good to see that the "do not travel; use your tickets tomorrow" advice went up – this saves so much hassle – managed to use the return half of Wednesday's First Class excess on the Thursday night (rather later than usual – 2344 from Cardiff – thanks to my reprobate colleagues abducting me to the local Wetherspoon's and force-feeding me gin and bubbly to celebrate my birthday).


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Electric train on July 09, 2019, 07:49:41 pm
Network Rail have asked that all railway employees join Network Rail in a minute silence at 10am Wednesday 10th July as a mark of respect to our two fellow railway employees, Gareth Denbridge and Michael Lewis who both tragically lost their lives a week ago whilst working on the line at Port Talbot.

Network Rail wish to invite all to join them in observing the minutes silence for Gareth, Michael and their loved ones.

Many thanks.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 10, 2019, 12:39:09 am
Overwhelmingly, a sad day and I very much hope we can learn lessons quickly. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and their Network Rail colleagues.

Thank you for posting your personal comments here, Mark. :(



Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on July 19, 2019, 10:20:33 am
From the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fatal-accident-at-margam?)

Quote
At around 09:52 hrs on Wednesday 3 July 2019, two track workers were struck and fatally injured by a passenger train at Margam East Junction on the South Wales Main Line. A third track worker came very close to being struck. These three workers were part of a group of six staff, who were undertaking scheduled track maintenance on lines that were still open to traffic.

The train, which was travelling from Swansea to London Paddington, was approaching Margam on the up line at around 73 mph (117 km/h). Its driver saw three track workers walking away from him on the adjacent line and, beyond them, three more track workers on the line ahead of his train. He sounded the train horn and applied the emergency brakes. The track workers walking on the adjacent line became aware of the train approaching and tried to warn their colleagues as the train passed them.

The three track workers on the up line were working on a set of points, using a petrol-engined tool for loosening and tightening large nuts. Consequently, at least one of the workers was wearing ear defenders. CCTV images taken from a camera at the front of the train suggest that the workers did not become aware of the train until it was very close to them. By this time, it was travelling at around 50 mph (80 km/h).

The RAIB’s investigation will identify the sequence of events that led to the accident and consider:

* what might have influenced the actions of those on site
* the protection arrangements that were in place
* the planning of the work and the implementation of Network Rail’s standard for keeping people safe on or near the line
* any relevant underlying management or organisational factors

Putting the context in place, they add

Quote
Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry, the British Transport Police 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.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: Electric train on July 19, 2019, 03:09:43 pm
From the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fatal-accident-at-margam?)

Quote
At around 09:52 hrs on Wednesday 3 July 2019, two track workers were struck and fatally injured by a passenger train at Margam East Junction on the South Wales Main Line. A third track worker came very close to being struck. These three workers were part of a group of six staff, who were undertaking scheduled track maintenance on lines that were still open to traffic.

The train, which was travelling from Swansea to London Paddington, was approaching Margam on the up line at around 73 mph (117 km/h). Its driver saw three track workers walking away from him on the adjacent line and, beyond them, three more track workers on the line ahead of his train. He sounded the train horn and applied the emergency brakes. The track workers walking on the adjacent line became aware of the train approaching and tried to warn their colleagues as the train passed them.

The three track workers on the up line were working on a set of points, using a petrol-engined tool for loosening and tightening large nuts. Consequently, at least one of the workers was wearing ear defenders. CCTV images taken from a camera at the front of the train suggest that the workers did not become aware of the train until it was very close to them. By this time, it was travelling at around 50 mph (80 km/h).

The RAIB’s investigation will identify the sequence of events that led to the accident and consider:

* what might have influenced the actions of those on site
* the protection arrangements that were in place
* the planning of the work and the implementation of Network Rail’s standard for keeping people safe on or near the line
* any relevant underlying management or organisational factors

Putting the context in place, they add

Quote
Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry, the British Transport Police 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.

Thank you Graham, this explains the work they were involved in.

Since this tragic incident NR has mandated that a senior maintenance engineer must give approval at the work planning stage all work activities that require track workers to wear ear defenders when lines are open to traffic.  This level of approval is way way above supervisor or depot manager level 


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: bignosemac on July 19, 2019, 04:56:01 pm

Since this tragic incident NR has mandated that a senior maintenance engineer must give approval at the work planning stage all work activities that require track workers to wear ear defenders when lines are open to traffic.  This level of approval is way way above supervisor or depot manager level 

It's good to know that Network Rail have quickly addressed this specific issue. Unfortunately it is shutting the stable door...


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: broadgage on October 01, 2019, 12:41:37 pm
Later reports here.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-49892460 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-49892460)


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on October 01, 2019, 05:43:34 pm
Later reports here.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-49892460 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-49892460)

From that ...

Quote
There was "no safe system in place" when two rail workers were hit and killed by a train in July, an initial report has found.

Gareth Delbridge, 64, and Michael "Spike" Lewis, 58, died on 3 July after being struck near Margam, Port Talbot.
A Network Rail and Great Western Railway probe said six staff were working on the line and separated of their own accord into groups of three.

This meant there was no official lookout.

Article continues ...

Interesting to see this quoted at a Network Rail / GWR report, rather that a government / DfT and RAIB one - I'm not sure of the metrics and have not picked up any links direct to the report - just seeing it as yet via the BBC.

The TSSA (via this link (https://www.tssa.org.uk/en/whats-new/news/index.cfm/tssa-response-interim-report-into-margam-deaths)) have picked it up though ...

Quote
TSSA Response - Interim Report Into Margam Deaths
1 October 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has issued a warning about rail safety and leadership after an initial report into the deaths of two workers who were hit by a train in July.

The Network Rail report says there was ‘no safe system in place’ when Gareth Delbridge and Michael ‘Spike’ Lewis died on 3rd July after being struck near Margam, Port Talbot.

Responding to the interim report, published on 30th September, Manuel Cortes, said:

"The report clearly demonstrates that senior management at Network Rail have failed to provide the necessary leadership and direction to ensure that those working on the track are able to do so without fear of losing their lives.

"Margam is the tip of the iceberg - we know there have been frequent near miss incidents involving track workers right across the country, both before and after Margam.

“For several years our union has warned of the weaknesses in the processes that are supposed to protect track workers. Sadly, so far, we have seen little progress in improving this situation.

"The rail safety enforcement body - the Office of Road and Rail - must also accept some responsibility; it knew of the problems but failed to take decisive action until Margam.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: bradshaw on October 01, 2019, 06:00:42 pm
There is no report on the RAIB website, which currently states that it is investigating.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on October 02, 2019, 01:33:53 am
There is no report on the RAIB website, which currently states that it is investigating.

Various further news stories such as Wales Online

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/network-rail-port-talbot-deaths-17009796

Quote
Network Rail has now published an interim report of its initial findings into what happened. It found that a person looking out for approaching trains, known as a distant lookout, had not been deployed that morning.

But I can't find it on the Network Rail website, nor though search engines.   Have Network Rail published this as in "made it public readable" (and if so, where?) or have they sent out copies to selected outlets?   Has anyone got either a URL or a copy of the source document??


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: stuving on October 02, 2019, 09:30:25 am
But I can't find it on the Network Rail website, nor though search engines.   Have Network Rail published this as in "made it public readable" (and if so, where?) or have they sent out copies to selected outlets?   Has anyone got either a URL or a copy of the source document??

I assumed NR had "published" it in the sense of giving it, and more likely presenting it, to invited journalists. That's still pretty common for all kinds of organisation; sometimes followed by being put on line, sometimes not. It's not easy to see on NR's web site whether they have anywhere to put such publications - they certainly don't like providing links to help you find find such specific items.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: SandTEngineer on October 02, 2019, 09:38:09 am
A bit more detail here: https://www.railengineer.co.uk/2019/09/30/interim-report-on-port-talbot-track-worker-fatalities-reveals-there-was-no-safe-system-of-work-in-place/


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on October 02, 2019, 03:54:20 pm
But I can't find it on the Network Rail website, nor though search engines.   Have Network Rail published this as in "made it public readable" (and if so, where?) or have they sent out copies to selected outlets?   Has anyone got either a URL or a copy of the source document??

I assumed NR had "published" it in the sense of giving it, and more likely presenting it, to invited journalists. That's still pretty common for all kinds of organisation; sometimes followed by being put on line, sometimes not. It's not easy to see on NR's web site whether they have anywhere to put such publications - they certainly don't like providing links to help you find find such specific items.

As there was so much reporting of a "published" document, I asked Network Rail for a link or copy.  Their response:

Quote
Dear Mr Ellis,
 
Thank you for contacting us about the interim report that was shared with Network Rail colleagues this week about the tragic events of Margam. We are aware of a number of media outlets reporting on this but wish to express that this report is only the initial stage of the investigation and once the final report has been concluded, we will be sharing the findings with not only our colleagues but with the concerned public.
 
The final report is expected to be concluded within the coming months.
 
Kind Regards,
 
Community Relations



Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on October 09, 2019, 09:00:54 am
As there was so much reporting of a "published" document, I asked Network Rail for a link or copy.  Their response:
Quote
Dear Mr Ellis,
 
Thank you for contacting us about the interim report that was shared with Network Rail colleagues this week about the tragic events of Margam. We are aware of a number of media outlets reporting on this but wish to express that this report is only the initial stage of the investigation and once the final report has been concluded, we will be sharing the findings with not only our colleagues but with the concerned public.
 
The final report is expected to be concluded within the coming months.
 
Kind Regards,
 
Community Relations

I am now better informed on the interim investigations - finding out in detail what went wrong and crucially making sure that lessons are learned to ensure they don't happen again.   Good to report that such lessons, and briefings, are very much in progress (or have happened already) even prior to the full report.   Critical is that safety is paramount and planned and that it's not just down to good fortune that these are exceptionally rare occurrences.


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: grahame on November 19, 2019, 02:42:30 pm
From The BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-50464841)

Quote
Families of two rail workers who died after being hit by a train have said every day is "a living nightmare".

They want changes in rail line working conditions after Gareth Delbridge, 64, and Michael "Spike" Lewis, 58, were killed by a passenger train on 3 July near Margam in Port Talbot.

Mr Delbridge's son-in-law Adrian Grant said the families were awaiting the conclusions of three inquiries.

An initial report said there was "no safe system in place".

Early investigations found Mr Delbridge, from Kenfig Hill, Bridgend, and Mr Lewis, from nearby North Cornelly, had been using a tool with a petrol engine and wearing ear defenders, meaning they did not hear the train, which was travelling from Swansea to London Paddington.

A third worker was treated for shock but was not injured.

I recommend that forum members read the full article which is much longer than the quote above.  It clearly draws from the interim report mentioned above, and from which key parties have already been briefed to ensure that the systemic failures which have already been identified are dealt with such that this "cannot happen again".


Title: Re: Two rail workers killed in collision with train, near Port Talbot - Wed 3 July 2019
Post by: stuving on December 06, 2019, 03:03:17 pm
RAIB have released an interim report (https://www.gov.uk/raib-reports/interim-report-01-2019-track-workers-struck-by-a-train-at-margam). I guess this covers much the same narrative information as the network Rail one did. The preliminary conclusions are:
Quote
60 The accident occurred because the three track workers were working on a line that was open to traffic, and without the presence of formally appointed lookouts to warn them of approaching trains. All three workers were almost certainly wearing ear defenders, because TW3 was using a noisy power tool, as instructed. All three were focused on the task they were undertaking. None of them was aware that a train was approaching them, until it was too late to move to a position of safety.

61 Working on an open line without a formally appointed lookout meant that no single individual stood apart from the work activity at the points with the sole responsibility of providing a warning when trains approached. The absence of a lookout with no involvement in the work activity removed a vital safety barrier.

62 The planning paperwork for the work on 9577B points indicated that the work was to start at 12:30 hrs, to coincide with the planned blockage of the up main line. However, witness evidence suggests that there was a widespread belief at the local maintenance depot that there was no need to wait for the planned line blockage in the afternoon, and a general lack of understanding as to how the planning paperwork should be interpreted.

63 The system of work that the COSS had proposed to implement before the work began was not adopted, and the alternative arrangements became progressively less safe as the work proceeded that morning.

64 These factors had created conditions that made an accident much more likely.



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