Jonny Westcott led his team out onto the railway just outside London Paddington to successfully repair track that would severely impact morning commuters into and out of Brunel’s iconic station the following day if it was not fixed.
The small defect about the size of a 50 pence piece proved to be a big job as it meant a 60 foot section of track, weighing more than a ton, had to be replaced to avoid the damaged area breaking in the future, which would lead to all trains being stopped in and out of London Paddington.
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 Britain’s busiest stations.
In episode four, Jonny and his team had the added challenge of working next to moving trains as services continued in and out of London through the night.
The railway is so busy that we often only get a couple of hours to carry out urgent work but we have a great team and we delivered on time.
If the railway is not maintained and defects are not repaired or removed by certain due dates then precautionary procedures are put in place such as speed restrictions, which would cause passengers major delays. This adds real pressure on us to get the job done as quickly as we can but also safely and correctly.
Until I started at Paddington I didn’t realise how small the timeframes are in which we have to get certain tasks done such as rail changing, it’s a huge challenge. We are passionate about the work we do and proud that we help keep the passengers moving.
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.
Jonny Westcott, engineer team leader, Network Rail
The fourth episode of Paddington 24/7 will be aired on Monday 2 October on Channel 5 at 9pm with each episode shown on subsequent Monday evenings at the same time.