Thursday, June 09, 2005


A very worrying new 'craze' revealed on todays ITV news. Apparently kids are now recording themselves on mobile phones playing chicken with trains. How stupid can you get?
Railway trespassing is extremely dangerous anyway, but deliberately standing in front of an approaching train until the last second, and being recorded doing it just defies belief.
There are some very worrying statistics about the number of people killed or injured on the railways each year on the website TRACKOFF.
Quite apart from the dangers they are putting themselves in, there's also the stress and worry it places upon the train driver and anyone else who witnesses such foolishness.
Mainline trains can travel upto 125mph, and at that speed take over a mile to stop, even in full emergency braking. Add to this the risk from overhead cables or electrified rails.
Which kid in their right mind would want to play on a railway line? I'm trained how to avoid tripping hazards and avoid electrocution etc on the railway, but I still hate having to walk near the line. It's only a matter of time before one of these kids jumps out of the way of one train straight into the path of another one.

Yes, my faith in human nature was boosted today by a little old lady who offered me a bag of peppermint humbugs for helping her to board the correct train at Earl's Court! Bless her! I'm one of these people who genuinely enjoys helping others, and when someone takes the time to say thank you, it makes it all the more worthwhile.

After reading a very kind article by my colleague on his blog (The Station Logbook), about having sympathy for us train operators, I felt I would share this story which occurred a few months ago at a busy station in the rush hour.

One of my colleagues was called into the Duty managers office where two British Transport Police officers were waiting to interview him about a lady who apparently got her leg trapped in a door on his train and he pulled away with her dangling there.
Now before I go any further, let me tell you that this is impossible! Anything wider than a few millimeters caught in the door would cause the door interlock not to illuminate, which in turn would prevent the driver from moving even if he wanted to.
Anyway, this woman had said she had then fallen backwards onto the platform and hurt her back. Obviously she was considering suing London Underground.
Luckily, the BTP, station staff and Duty Managers reviewed the CCTV and found that the driver was totally innocent. What they did see, however, was this woman running straight into the side of the train as it was already moving, then bouncing back onto the platform. Obviously the driver had passed the mirrors etc, so was completely unaware.

We may whinge about CCTV, but it certainly saved one drivers job, and maybe even a prison sentence. This is just another side to our job which the Evening Standard still insist we are being overpaid for. Would they like to have allegations made randomly against them and just pray that the CCTV clears your name or risk being sacked and arrested?


Post a Comment

<< Home