Paddington Station 24/7: Engineers race against the clock to remove derailed train and repair track

A member of Network Rail’s Orange Army will feature in the seventh episode of behind-the-scenes documentary Paddington Station 24/7 as she leads a team of engineers who face the challenge of getting a derailed train back onto the track at London Paddington as quickly as possible to minimise disruption.

Jane Colgan (pictured) was Network Rail’s Rail incident officer on 20 August when a train derailed while leaving London Paddington meaning passengers had to be evacuated. No passengers or train crew were injured but the derailed train meant a platform was taken out of use at Brunel’s iconic station, increasing the pressure on Jane and her team as they tried to clear the blocked platform as quickly as possible.

Jane coordinated the complex operation to get the train back on the track with engineers successfully doing so 10 hours after the incident occurred. This allowed a 20-strong team to access the track and repair the track damaged by the derailment.

The eight-part series Paddington Station 24/7 follows railway workers on the Great Western Mainline as they deal with the biggest modernisation of the line for generations, major incidents causing disruption on the railway, huge sporting events as well as the day-to-day challenge of running one of the Britain’s busiest stations.

In episode seven, the platform was reopened successfully for passenger service within 48 hours of when the derailment occurred. This is an achievement Jane puts down to the teamwork of the orange army, our team of engineers and contractors who work on the railway day and night to maintain, repair and improve our rail infrastructure.

It was a team effort with everyone playing their part in ensuring the job was done as quickly and safely as possible.

 

Derailments are rare but they pose a real challenge as moving a train delicately back onto the track is no easy task. Then once that is done you have the unknown quantity of what the damage to the track is.

 

Everyone pulled together and in the end everyone can be proud of their achievements as we reopened the platform as early as possible.

 

I hope people watch the documentary and get a better understanding of what Network Rail does and the range of challenges we face at all times of day.

Jane Colgan

The penultimate episode of Paddington Station 24/7 will be aired on Monday 23 October on Channel 5 at 9pm, with the final episode of the series shown the following week at the same time.

Below: London Paddington station is on the Western route