TWO TRACK workers were struck by a passenger train and killed in an accident at Margam, near Port Talbot in south Wales, on 3 July.

The incident occurred at around 09.52 and involved Great Western Railway’s 09.29 Swansea to London Paddington service. The workers, a 58-year-old man from North Connelly and a 64-year-old man from Kenfig Hill, were struck by the train and pronounced dead at the scene. A third track worker, who was very close to being struck, was treated for shock.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch and British Transport Police are investigating the circumstances of the incident. BTP has said the initial stages of the investigation suggest the two men who died had been wearing ear defenders and could not hear the train approaching. Paul Harwood, acting Manager Director for Network Rail’s Southern Region, said: ‘Our thoughts and sympathies are with all those involved, their family and friends, and our colleagues in Wales and Western.

‘This event is a devastating reminder of how important safety on our railway is – everyone must go home safe after work, and today they haven’t.’

In response to the incident, Network Rail has launched a new safety task force to target track worker safety, backed with a £70 million fund. NR has been issued with two improvement notices by the Office of Rail and Road requiring the company to do more to improve track worker safety. The task force, headed by NR Group Safety, Technical and Engineering Director Martin Frobisher, will bring together various ongoing programmes targeted at track worker safety.