Friday 13 Oct 2017
Documentary continues as staff help recover train services following day of disruption
A Network Rail worker who was in the control room hot seat on a day that the emergency phone rang several times causing disruption across the Great Western Mainline will feature in the sixth episode of behind the scenes documentary Paddington Station 24/7.
The eight-part series follows railway workers on the Great Western Mainline as they deal with the biggest modernisation of the line for generations, major incidents which are causing disruption on the railway, huge sporting events as well as the day-to-day challenge of running one of the UK’s busiest stations.
Ian Willott, route control manager, features in episode six as he deals with the disruption caused by a person being hit by a train, several falling trees, a signalling fault and a train passing a danger signal.
The combination of multiple issues meant it was a challenging day for Ian, who has worked on the railway for 42 years, with the line between Taunton and Exeter shut for a period of time after a person was hit by a train with the effects being felt more than 100 miles away at London Paddington as services were disrupted.
To make matters worse, a stormy day meant trees had fallen onto the track at several points across Network Rail’s Western route, including near Henley in Berkshire and Dilton Marsh in Wiltshire. Finally, a signal fault and a train passing a danger signal just outside London Paddington capped off a difficult day for Ian in the control room hot seat.
However, despite the numerous challenges Ian helped get services back on track at Brunel’s iconic station ahead of the evening peak. He said: “It was a difficult day but everyone pulled together to ensure we recovered the service and got passengers moving on time by the evening peak.
“The guys on the ground quickly arrived on site each and every time we had an incident and their hard work helped us open the railway as early as we could and ensure disruption was kept to a minimum.
“I hope people watch the documentary and get a better understanding of what Network Rail does and the range of challenges we face.”
The sixth episode of Paddington Station 24/7 will be aired on Monday 16 October on Channel 5 at 9pm with each episode shown on subsequent Monday evenings at the same time.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.