Why this man walks on train tracks at 4am

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Working on the ground to keep UK trains running

An Outstation Technician, Dom McGee works on the ground to keep UK trains running seamlessly

“I deal with any faults that happen when a train’s out on the line. You never know when something’s going to happen, so you have to be ready to go. When a train has an issue in the middle of nowhere we drive to the nearest access point and then just walk along the tracks until we’re there. I did this recently at 4:00AM on a Friday morning, walking along the edge of the banks in the darkness, until I reached the driver, and hopped into the cab to help them get started again. The walk was eerily quiet but I’m used to it. When you wear all orange, you’re allowed to walk on the main line in a safe area, as long as you’re in the safe area.


Because we have a new fleet of trains, drivers are still getting used to setting up the cab. But if it’s not set up properly, the emergency brakes come on. We have the guys over in Control, who can see live data from the train, so they’ll often know what’s happened before the driver’s even phoned them. That’s what I’m planning to work towards. We work with them to fix issues, and we can do that wherever the train is. It’s pretty cool because sometimes you’re speeding along, doing 40 or 50 miles an hour, maybe 100, fixing a fault and you get to watch everything start working again; the passenger displays all come live again. I’d like to be in Performance, because you can analyze all the data from the trains. I love working with these technologies because there’s a genuine sense of progression.

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