A MOBILE railway operations manager had a lucky escape after he managed to clamber to safety with ‘a second’ to spare as fast train sped through Rowlands Castle station.

The narrow miss left the train driver “distressed” said Rail Accident Investigation Branch investigators.

The Network Rail employee got down onto the tracks to retrieve a fallen bag shortly after 7pm on December 19.

The potentially fatal incident happened after a mix-up over signalling saw the station manager contact the wrong signal box to stop trains.

Investigators found he had contacted Petersfield signal box to request trains were stopped so he could climb down onto the track.

But he should have contacted Havant signal box and as a result was unaware the non-stop Waterloo to Portsmouth train was fast approaching the station.

A Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report said he had requested the wrong signalling centre to stop trains.

The report outlined how he had contacted Petersfield signal box to check for approaching trains.

But the report added he should have contacted the controller at the Havant signalling centre instead, as the Havant centre has overall control trains using the line.

He went on to the tracks and subsequently saw the non-stop passenger train approaching at 60mph (97kmph).

The RAIB said he managed to get clear with “one second” to spare.

The driver of the train was said to be “distressed” by the near miss.

Network Rail said a mobile railway operations manager is responsible for delivering prompt and effective responses to any accidents and incidents on a section of the railway.

Through careful investigation and reporting, they ensure similar events aren’t repeated.