“On the 23rd of May James and Steve were on their way to work to start an afternoon shift. James was already on board a service at the rear of the train, with Steve about to get on at St Neots station. It was at this point that James noticed a male trackside concealed in some bushes and banged on the window to get Steve’s attention. The male was staring vacantly across the tracks. The pair quickly and instinctively sprang into action. Neither had their work phones with them to contact the signallers direct so James had to run (the extremely long platform) to raise the alarm and get a line block.
Steve was able to shout across to the male telling him to stay where he was and for a brief instance the male made eye contact. Within 30 seconds of this interaction an LNER service came through at speed on the fast line obscuring Steve’s view of the male. Luckily Steve had his work radio with him which has a direct link to BTP and was already in the process of alerting them. When the train had passed the male was now visible again but had begun pacing up and down. James and station staff came running along the platform confirming a line block was in place.
They then urged the male to stay where he was trying to engage with him. Reassuring him that he was not in any trouble, and they just wanted to make sure he was safe. When the signaller had authorised it, they got the male to walk across the tracks and up on to the platform. It was here they remained calm, introducing themselves and telling the male to come with them.
BTP were shortly in attendance and the male was taken to hospital to get the help he desperately needed. It transpired that the male had left all his belongings, phone, keys, wallet, and picture of his child on the seat of his vehicle in the car park before going trackside. Had James and Steve not been there that day there could have been a very different outcome. They should both be proud of their actions and the difference they made to the male on that day.“
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