Track worker fatality on WCML near Roade, Northants.

Site of the accident on the West Coast main line where workers were constructing foundations for a retaining wall.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is investigating an incident on the West Coast main line in which a track worker was killed.

The accident took place at around 10:52 on 8 April 2020 on the West Coast main line near to the village of Roade, Northamptonshire. A group of track workers was building foundations for a trackside wall to secure the railway embankment.

The line remained open for traffic and a passing passenger train struck and fatally injured one of the workers, reported to be a man in his 50s. The train was travelling from Northampton to London (Euston), at around 90 mph (145 km/h) when its driver saw the track worker on the line ahead, sounded the train horn and applied the emergency brakes.

The man was employed by AmcoGiffen. A company spokesperson said: “It is with deepest regret that we confirm a fatal accident at one of our rail work sites near Roade, Northamptonshire. The incident…is under investigation and we are working closely with Network Rail, British Transport Police, the Office of Rail and Road and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to understand the circumstances which led to this tragic event.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the family and friends of our colleague who has lost his life in the conduct of delivering essential rail services.”

James Dean, Network Rail.

James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast main line south route director, said: “It is with great sadness I can confirm that a railway employee died after being struck by a train on Wednesday 8 April.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and loved ones at this time. We are assisting emergency services and safety examiners with their investigations into this incident.”

RAIB will conduct a full investigation into:

  • The actions of the those involved;
  • The planning of the work and the implementation of any safe systems of work;
  • Any relevant underlying or organisational factors.

The RAIB’s investigation will be independent of any investigation by the railway industry, the British Transport Police or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road. RAIB will publish its findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of its investigation.

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