Near miss with track workers and collision with a tree on the line at Uphill Junction

At around 13:10 hrs on 14 January 2022, a train travelling at 95 mph had a near miss with two track workers before striking part of a tree at Uphill Junction, near to Weston-super-Mare.

The track workers involved were part of a team that was undertaking de-vegetation work on an embankment adjacent to two open running lines. During this work, a tree of around 165 mm (6.5 inches) in diameter, which had been felled by the team, came down the embankment and landed in the cess.

The two track workers involved in the incident went onto the line and attempted to remove the tree from the cess. While doing so they unintentionally moved the tree so that it became foul of one of the running lines. The track workers then became aware that a train was approaching them. They were able to move clear of the line several seconds before the train passed them, but part of the tree remained foul of the line and was struck by the train. No injuries resulted from the collision. The train did not derail and sustained only minor damage.

We have undertaken a preliminary examination into the circumstances surrounding this incident. Having assessed the evidence which has been gathered to date, we have decided to publish a safety digest.

The safety digest will be made available on our website in the near future.

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