Terrifying near miss at level crossing in Nottinghamshire

This is the heart-stopping moment a group of railway workers avoided death by just ONE SECOND after they were forced to dive out of the way of an oncoming train.

The terrifying near-miss was captured by on board cameras as the locomotive thundered towards the men at 125mph.

Dramatic footage shows the workers scrambling clear of the approaching vehicle as it hurtled along the tracks near Egmanton level crossing in Nottinghamshire.

A report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has now exposed the shocking safety blunder and revealed the group were working in unsafe conditions.

An abstract for the report states that although the train driver sounded the train's warning horn, the track workers became aware of the train about three seconds before it reached them. One of the group shouted a warning to three others who were between the running rails of the Down Main line. These three workers cleared the track about one second before the train passed them.

It also stated that the group had been working under "an unsafe and unofficial system of work, set up by the person in charge. Instead of adhering to the correct method of using the Train Operated Warning System (TOWS) by moving his team to, and remaining in, a position of safety while TOWS was warning of an approaching train, he used the audible warning as a cue for the lookout to start looking out for approaching trains in order to maximise the working time of the group on the track. This unsafe system of work broke down when both he and the lookout became distracted and forgot about the TOWS warning them of the approaching train."

Simon French, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents said: "When the person in charge of a team is both a strong personality and an employee of the client, it can be particularly hard for contract workers to challenge unsafe behaviour.

"In this investigation, RAIB found that the person in charge had adopted an unsafe method of working, in an attempt to undertake additional unplanned work. Both the person in charge and team members became distracted, and the result was that three of them found themselves jumping clear of a train travelling at 125 miles per hour with just one second to spare. This came so close to being a major tragedy.

"We have seen this sort of unsafe behaviour before, where the wish to get the work done quickly overrides common sense and self-preservation. When we see narrowly avoided tragedies of this type it is almost always the result of the adoption of an unsafe method of work and the absence of a challenge from others in the group.

"We are therefore recommending that Network Rail looks again at how it monitors and manages the safety leadership exercised by its staff, and how they interact with contractors. There have been too many near misses in recent years. It takes effective leadership and a positive safety culture to create a working environment in which everyone can be confident that safety will come first."

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