A GUARD stepped in to guide a train hit by a brick safely into the nearest station — but his union fears for his job thanks to bosses’ plans for huge cuts on the network.
The windscreen of a South Western Railway Desiro train was smashed after the brick was dropped from a bridge in Hampshire.
The driver’s view was so obscured that the guard was required to enter the cab to help him take the train.
Guards organised by rail union RMT is due to strike on South Western and four other networks next month. The union says the company has refused to guarantee that skilled guards will be retained.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash described the event, which affected the 14.59 Portsmouth to Waterloo service on Tuesday, as “shocking.”
He said: “The incident also shows in the clearest possible terms the value of the guard on South Western Railway.
“It is appalling that, despite incidents like this, the train companies are still trying to remove the guard, with exactly these kind of safety competencies, from their trains.
“I would urge South Western Railway to study this incident carefully, reverse their current plans and give us the guarantee of the guard on their trains.”
A South Western spokesman confirmed the guard’s role and said: “We condemn the actions of those responsible for this incident and commend the actions of our staff.”
A separate “near miss” incident on the London Undeground has prompted RMT to warn it is “only a matter of time before a fatality occurs.”
The union said a young person could have been prevented from jumping onto the tracks at Ruislip on October 20 if the station had been staffed. Tube management said
325 new staff were being added to the network.