18 May 2016
RMT Press Office
On the day that RMT steps up fight to defend rail guards a fire on a train at Twyford is dealt with under the direction of the guard
On the day that rail union RMT stepped up the national fight to defend the role of the safety-critical role of the guard with a protest at the Rail Industry Event in Westminster, a potentially serious incident was averted at Ruscombe just east of Twyford this morning when a fire on board a train was dealt with by the guard who put the emergency evacuation procedure in place and directed other rail staff travelling on the service to extinguish the fire before the emergency services arrived.
The incident – that led to suspension of some services in and out of Paddington – was tweeted by the Network Rail Great Western twitter feed – with the swift action and professionalism of the on-board crew heavily emphasised. Inexplicably, Network Rail have now removed those tweets, which said that the fire had been identified and put out under the direction of train crew prior to the arrival of the Fire Brigade.
The train was a the busy 8.08 service out of Oxford.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“RMT awaits the outcome of the investigation into the fire on a Great Western train just east of Twyford after 8am this morning but we do know from the now deleted Network Rail tweets that the fire was put out under the direction of the guard who also safely evacuated the passengers on this busy service. The incident once again emphasises the safety-critical role of the guard and exposes the dangerous nonsense of trying to undermine and abolish these posts.
“If there had been no guard on this train the potential consequences would have been horrendous.
“Why the Network Rail tweets were deleted is anybody’s guess, but with the incident coming on the day that RMT is stepping up the national fight to defend the role of the guard on our trains it is clearly added weight to the evidence base that the guard is crucial to train safety.”