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Rail track waste dumping row intensifiesPosted on 02/01/2014

The continuing issue of trains passing human waste onto train tracks has intensified.

Initially an argument over the removal of waste in stations, it has now been revealed that rail workers outside of stations are being covered in urine and regularly encountering faecal matter.

An employee for Network Rail has reported that his fellow workers – not necessarily protected by adequate workwear – have real concerns that their health is being put at risk.

The worker said that sanitary towels are found on the tracks too. Explaining how the staff all adhered to recommendations for how far to stand away from passing trains, the whistle-blower continued:

"It's not unusual to feel a spray, a kind of mist in the air. That's bad enough, but then you walk back to where you've been working on the tracks there's [faeces] everywhere."

Many workers may not require personal protective equipment (PPE) for such mists and liquids for the day to day operations.

The employee works on Greater Anglia's routes running in and out of Cambridge station. The firm has said it is hoping to phase out trains which do not have capabilities to retain waste on-board.

A practice that Network Rail has accepted is 'outdated and unpleasant' for track workers, over 50% of Greater Anglia's Cambridge area trains are not installed with retention tanks.

A spokesman for Network Rail said the industry needs to come together to tackle the issue, whilst Westminster has agreed that it is an 'unpleasant experience'.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport confirmed that the Government is working alongside Greater Anglia with fleet upgrade plans.

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