Death on the Track

Submitted by AWL on 4 March, 2007 - 9:07

On 2nd February, two young men died and another was injured when their car collided with a train at an open level crossing at Delny. A couple of weeks later saw the third anniversary of the death of four track workers at Tebay - for which two sub-contractors have been jailed.

It’s OK, says NR, we’re trying to improve track safety. And we have a leaflet about safe use of ungated crossings. A leaflet?! What kind of pathetic, cheap substitute is that for genuine safety improvements?.

Ungated crossings are death traps. And RRVs are still unsafe. There has been no public inquiry into Tebay. There have been several runaway incidents since then, any yet no additional safety systems have been introduced to prevent them.

When deaths on the track or at level crossings hit the news - eg. Tebay, or when 7 people died at Ufton Nervet in 2004 - NR promises to look into improving safety. But when the TV cameras look away, so does Network Rail and the government.

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Comments

Submitted by TB on Tue, 13/03/2007 - 16:25

Article taken from ASLEF's website

Second death at Norwich level crossing in 18 months
1 Mar 2007

ASLEF’s National Organiser Andy Reed has called for an in-depth investigation following a second death at the same level crossing in 18 months.

The latest fatality occurred about five miles south of Norwich at half past seven this morning when a One train travelling at around 100 mph collided with a silver Vauxhall Astra. The train remained upright, coming to a halt just over a mile from the incident.

Neither the driver nor passengers were injured and the driver of the car was the only fatality – mirroring an incident on 13 November 2005 when a car driven by Darrell Sheens, 45, from Swardeston, was struck on the same unmanned level crossing.
The accident occurred only a day after the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) confirmed that level crossings represent the biggest risk to train passengers’ safety. Although the ORR says, ‘There are particular problems for rail companies because they cannot control action of drivers and pedestrians at level crossings,’ ASLEF continues to argue for track to train surveillance cameras which can alert the driver to obstructions on the track at a sufficient distance to allow an accident to be averted.

Submitted by Janine on Tue, 13/03/2007 - 18:31

I think there may be a problem with ASLEF's demand for track-to-train surveillance. Their demand gives extra work to drivers (presumably in return for extra pay), rather than demanding staff at the level crossing.

They may be counterposing drivers to other grades of railworkers. RMT spoke against their position on this at last year's TUC Congress.

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