A concrete mixer came within seconds of being hit by a train, when the driver followed hand signals from a banksman waving him across an automatic level crossing, after the red warning lights had begun to flash.
The incident took place just before noon on 13 March this year at Mucking between East Tilbury and Stanford-Le-Hope in Essex. The partially loaded lorry drove part way onto the automatic half barrier level crossing before it started reversing.
The barrier lowered itself onto the lorry and had to be lifted off by railway workers before the lorry could fully reverse, seconds before the train, travelling at 57mph, approached the crossing.
The Euromix lorry had stopped on the level crossing in order to reverse into an adjacent gateway, onto a site where main contractor Amey was constructing a new foundation on behalf of Network Rail. The manoeuvre was supervised by a banksman.
After the train had passed, the lorry driver repeated the manoeuvre with the help of the banksman successfully. There was no damage or injury.
A Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) investigation said that the incident happened because staff involved in work planning and staff on site did not recognise and manage risk associated with working near level crossings. It warned that the incident could have had serious consequences.
Following the incident, Network Rail has highlighted the risk in a briefing to organisations and staff working on its infrastructure. The Amey Inabensa joint venture working at the construction site has also modified its procedures and briefed staff on the risk.