Blind Man Sues 3 Rail Companies After Falling Onto Railway Tracks

  • A blind man is suing three rail companies after he fell onto the tracks at a station in England. 
  • Abdul Eneser, 20, told Insider there was no tactile paving to alert him of the platform’s edge.
  • He said a train passed through the same tracks only a minute after he was helped get back up. 

A blind man is suing a railway company and two train operators after falling onto railway tracks in England.

Abdul Eneser fell onto the tracks at Manchester Piccadilly station in May 2022 and said he was left with bloodied knees and neck pain.

He’s now taking legal action against Network Rail, which is responsible for stations and tracks, and train operators Avanti West Coast and Northern Rail, The Guardian first reported.

The 20-year-old said that after he fell he was able to get up and place his backpack on the platform.

A station worker then helped pull him back onto the platform only a minute before a train arrived. His cane and phone were still on the tracks when it passed by, Eneser told Insider.

He said the lack of tactile paving at the train station meant he wasn’t alerted to the platform edge. Tactile paving is a raised surface, typically with bumps, placed in public spaces to warn visually impaired people that they are approaching an area of potential danger. 

“I dread to think what would have happened if I was less able to get up or if I was an older person,” Eneser said. “I consider myself very lucky in that sense, but it’s not really about myself, it’s about what’s being done to prevent it from happening again.”

He had booked a service that included assistance for disabled passengers, but when he got to the station platform he was told that no staff were available.

A Network Rail representative told Insider: “We’re sorry to hear about Abdul’s experience. We know there’s still more to be done to make our railway more accessible for all and we’re working closely with our train operator colleagues and industry partners to achieve this as quickly and efficiently as we can.”

The company said it was installing tactile paving on platforms at stations including Manchester Piccadilly by 2025.

Charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People said last year that 40% of major rail stations in the UK lacked tactile paving.

Eneser said the paving was “a lifeline for visually impaired people in order to try and stay safe, and if 40% of stations don’t have it, then it’s just an accident waiting to happen.”

Avanti West Coast and Northern Rail didn’t respond to requests for comment from Insider.

In 2020, 53-year-old Cleveland Gervais died when he was struck by a train after falling onto tracks at Eden Park station in southeast London. A jury found that the lack of tactile paving “more than minimally” contributed to his death, Metro reported

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