Documentary continues as staff help recover train services following day of disruption: IanWillott

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.


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