Virgin Trains driver electric shock: Investigation launched

Virgin Train Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Virgin Trains driver was injured after coming close to a damaged cable hanging over the track

A train driver who suffered a severe electric shock when power cables fell onto the tracks was treated by a doctor travelling on the train, accident investigators have said.

The driver was taken to hospital after the incident, which happened in Runcorn, Cheshire, on 23 September.

He was injured after getting out of the train to check for a track marker in order to report his location.

The Rail Accident Investigation Board (RAIB) has begun an investigation.

A report from the RAIB said the Virgin Trains driver had approached a damaged cable, which was hanging over the track.

'Potential tragedy'

He had earlier stopped the train in order to report the damage.

The injured driver was helped by the doctor and the onboard train manager, who stayed with him until emergency services arrived.

Coaches were called to take passengers away from the scene, and the incident caused disruption between London Euston and Liverpool Lime Street.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT union, said a "potential tragedy" had been avoided, and that the incident illustrated why train managers are important.

"This horrific incident shows once again the constant threats and dangers on our railways, dangers that politicians and others advocating driver-only operation carefully choose to ignore," he said.

"It is crystal clear that it was the presence of mind, the experience and the training of the on-board manager that helped avoid what had the potential to be a major tragedy."

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