At approximately 12:05 on the 22 August 2017, an advanced lookout was struck by a South Western
Railways passenger train. The lookout sustained cuts and bruises to his elbow, which required
The advanced lookout was part of a three man track patrolling team and was providing advanced warning from the down cess to the patroller who
was inspecting the up fast and up slow line, accompanied by his site lookout.
The advanced lookout was ahead of his colleagues, positioned in the down cess on acurve, in order to provide the required warning
time to the team. He was standing on the raised ballast shoulder.
One train was passing on the down fast line when a second train approached the advanced lookout
on the down slow line at approximately 45mph.
That train struck the advanced lookout’s right elbow. He was facing the other way as it
When trains passed on either of the down lines,the lookout’s view of any trains on the Up lines
A lookout was fatally injured in similar circumstances at Leeds in 2009.
While we are investigating the incident please
discuss the following with your team.
• How do you maintain awareness of all
trains, particularly when focusing on a
specific task like looking out in one
• How does the lookout make sure they
are in a position of safety while
performing their duties?
• How can site conditions such as
vegetation impact upon or change the
safe system of work in practice?
• How should planners, responsible
managers and trackworkers assess
whether an area is suitable for working
under lookout protection?