Slipstream Dangers of Passing Trains

Whilst not specifically a “geo-environmental matter” GEMs felt that this topic warranted a safety share.  In January of this year the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) published a report regarding a wheelchair contacting a train at Twyford station. According to the summary of the incident on the wheel chair was positioned on the station platform behind the yellow lines parallel to the tracks with the brake applied but the freight train’s slipstream, combined with the ambient wind, generated an aerodynamic force which was able to overcome the brakes on the wheelchair.  The mother was unaware that the freight train posed a hazard to the wheelchair, and therefore did not take any additional precautions beyond applying the brakes.

We have all been led to believe that if you are behind the yellow line at a station you are “safe.” Why not make this the next topic for your safety moment and spread the word of the need to take care with wheeled transport when waiting on station platforms? If you are interested in knowing more about this incident and all recommendations made by RAIB please download the report here.