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Aslef call for on-board toilet facilities after train driver dies in tragic accident

A TRAIN driver was killed after getting out of his cab to urinate at the track side because there were no toilets on board, drivers’ union Aslef has said.

Aslef is waiting for the Department for Transport’s Rail Accident Investigation Branch to produce its report into the tragedy, which happened in February.

But the union is calling on all rail operators to remedy the lack of facilities for train crew where no toilet is provided on board.

Aslef says some drivers have faced disciplinary action after throwing bottles filled with urine out of their cabs after using them on board due to lack of toilet facilities.

The tragic death occurred at West Worthing, west Sussex, on February 1, when the driver had made a scheduled stop in sidings in a break between passenger services.

He stepped down from the cab and was hit by another train and killed.

Aslef assistant general secretary Simon Weller said: “We believe the driver who was hit had gone down to track level, in the dark, to urinate.”

He said there had “long been concerns” about the lack of toilet facilities for crew on some trains, in this case a Class 313 operated by GTR Thameslink.

“There had been previous complaints regarding drivers discarding bottles full of urine on the track at West Worthing and threats of disciplinary action for those caught doing so,” he said.

The Office of Rail and Road watchdog had separately issued an “improvement notice” to GTR Thameslink over the operator’s failure “to provide adequate welfare facilities for drivers and conductors.”

GTR Thameslink and the Department for Transport were invited to comment.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch says its report will be published when its investigation is completed.

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