Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tot was saved from disaster

A BOY of three was grabbed from rail tracks after he chased a train for half a mile when it pulled away without him.

The frantic child was left on the platform at Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, Scotland, before his parents missed him.

He was rescued by loco driver Martin McManus, 45, who spotted him sobbing on the line.

Martin said last night: “It could have ended in tragedy.”

Martin leapt from his train cab to save a toddler he spotted on the track — moments before a loco thundered past at 60mph.

He slammed on the emergency brake before grabbing the boy who was running up the line towards him.

Shocked passengers looked on as he carried the nipper, who turned out to be just three, on to the 2.26pm service from Glasgow Central to Edinburgh.

Child chased train up track

As he was praised for his speedy action, ScotRail worker Martin, 45, said: “I was only doing my job.

“The wee lad was running along the track crying so I stopped my train and made sure it was safe.

“I went out and picked him up and brought him back in.

“He was looking for his mummy and asked if she was on the train.

“Passengers were getting off and thanking me for saving him.”

He added: “It could have ended in tragedy if I hadn’t seen him.”

The former Royal Navy aircraft engineer revealed he asked signalling staff to block passing services until he was able to get the lad to safety.

Martin, of Rosyth, Fife, added: “I have no idea how he got off the train or ended up down there.

“After the block was taken off a train blasted past at 60mph.”

The drama unfolded on the high-speed line between Kingsknowe and Wester Hailes in the capital as the family made their way home from Glasgow on Thursday.

The frantic parents, who are thought to be Turkish and living in Edinburgh, leapt off at Kingsknowe when they realised their son was missing.

They hitched a lift from a passing motorist back to Wester Hailes.

The youngster is said to have left the train there without them before chasing it in panic after it pulled off.

Off-duty cops on Martin’s service asked colleagues to collect the boy at Kirknewton, West Lothian, three stops down the line.

He was driven to a nearby nick where he was reunited with his parents an hour after he vanished.

Passengers yesterday hailed quick-thinking Martin in a string of tributes on social media.

Bonnie Nicholson wrote alongside a snap of him: “Here is the amazing train driver who saved a little boy’s life today when he noticed the little one on the tracks and managed to stop the train on time.

“I was so traumatised I forgot to ask his name — what a hero.”

Shannon Ross replied: “So happy to hear this.

“I was on the train the little boy was on when he ran off before his mother could get off when the train went off without him. Not been able to stop thinking about it — I’m so relieved that he’s safe.”

Engine driver Martin slammed on brakes when he spotted toddler

And Susan Broadfoot added: “Why on earth was the child there?

“Thank goodness the train driver noticed him.

“This could have had a tragic ending.”

British Transport Police confirmed the child was uninjured.

An inquiry has been launched by the Office of Rail Regulations.

A ScotRail Alliance spokeswoman said: “Our staff are trained to look out for vulnerable passengers.

“On this occasion our driver took swift action to ensure the child’s safety.”


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