Moment ‘dozy train driver took a quick snooze at the controls of moving engine’ (or was he just blinking?)
- Photographer Stuart Littleford took picture of driver at Doncaster station
- Unidentified man was behind the wheel of 30-wagon locomotive last month
- Freightliner says it ‘takes all reported incidents seriously & will investigate’
- But it insists if train safety device isn’t monitored then brakes are applied
A photographer has claimed he saw a driver dozing at the wheel of a moving 30-wagon freight train.
Stuart Littleford took the picture of the bearded driver, who appeared to be fast asleep in the cab of his Class 66 locomotive at Doncaster station in South Yorkshire, on September 11.
Mr Littleford said: ‘The freight train had been waiting for some time to come through the station and it was moving slowly – maybe he had just closed his eyes for a few seconds.
Dozing off? Photographer Stuart Littleford took the picture of the bearded driver, who appears to be fast asleep in the cab of the Class 66 locomotive at Doncaster station in South Yorkshire on September 11
‘I can’t say he was definitely asleep but the photo looks that way. Who knows, but he looks asleep.
‘The locomotive was a Class 66 and was pulling about 30 wagons. I didn’t notice the fact his eyes look like they were shut until I looked at the images.’
Doncaster station, managed by East Coast, is a major northern railway hub, with eight platforms and direct links to the likes of Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Reading.
In March 1951 there was a major rail crash next to the station that killed 14 passengers and injured 12 after eight coaches on a train to London derailed, and one of them crashed into a bridge.
Up close: Mr Littleford said the train had been waiting to come through the station and it was moving slowly
Freightliner Group – which operated the train and runs rail freight services across the UK, Poland and Australia – said it ‘takes all reported incidents seriously and will fully investigate accordingly’.
A spokesman added to MailOnline: ‘However it is virtually impossible for a sleeping driver to set a stationary train into motion as it requires the active operation of a power handle.
‘This class of locomotive (66) are fitted with a Driver Safety Device (DSD) part of which is a vigilance system, that if it is not constantly monitored and acknowledged by the driver whilst a train is in motion the system will automatically apply the train brakes.’