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Wandsworth Gatwick Express Victim Simon Brown 'Leant Out Of Train Window By Warning Sign'

Notice above the window reads 'do not lean out of window when train is moving'

01/09/2016 09:36

A man killed after leaning out the window of the Gatwick Express was standing next to a sign instructing passengers to stay inside the train while it was moving. 

Simon Brown, from East Grinstead, in Sussex, was killed when his head collided with a signal gantry near Wandsworth Common station, in south London, on August 7. It was initially reported that Brown’s head had been struck by a passing train. 

At the time of his death the 24-year-old “railway fanatic” had just landed a job as a train engineer.

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Simon Brown died in August after leaning out of a window of a moving Gatwick Express train

A preliminary investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) concluded that Brown “struck his head” on a signal gantry near Balham while the train was travelling at about 60 mph (96 km/h).

Rail investigators said, based on witness evidence, Brown was standing at a door in the third coach of the train when the accident happened. 

“This door, which is intended for the use of the train’s guard and opens inwards, has an opening droplight. There is a notice above the window, ‘Do not lean out of window when train is moving’.”

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Brown was standing next to a sign telling passengers to stay inside the train

The RAIB’s investigation will examine the factors which affected the clearance between the train and the signal gantry and the measures in place to “control the risks from leaning out of train windows”. 

A funding page was set up by Brown’s childhood friend, Reuben Smith, following the accident, to raise funds to cover funeral expenses and for a memorial train at Bluebell. By Thursday morning, £8,895 had been raised. 

Smith wrote on the page: “Simon was a great friend of ours and a real light in the railway world. He was always smiling cheerful and would bend over backwards to help anyone. There’s now a massive hole in our close knit community where he was.

“He has been taken from us at the age of 24 it’s far too young.

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