MailOnline can reveal that the heroic train driver who saved Salisbury from tragedy on Sunday night is a 74-year old veteran with years of rail driving expertise.
Robin Tandy was only six seconds late to react and apply the emergency brakes. He then flung himself away from the driver’s seat of his cab, as his train collided into another tunnel.
The tunnel entrance was the intersection of two trains: a Great Western (GWR), and a South Western Railways (SWR), both travelling in the opposite direction.
The SWR service from London Waterloo was heading for Honiton in Devon when it struck the GWR service at 6.45pm in the Fisherton Tunnel on Sunday.
Miraculously, no one was killed and Mr Tandy’s quick-thinking actions have been hailed by colleagues for preventing a high number of casualties and deaths following the accident.
It was also a personal cost for him, as he was airlifted from his home to University Hospital Southampton after suffering what police called ‘life-changing’ injuries.
Robin Tandy, the hero train driver who saved Salisbury from disaster on Sunday night’s rail collision, is a veteran of rail driving with years of experience. MailOnline can reveal that he is a 74 year old veteran.
Robin Tandy was only six seconds late to react and apply emergency brakes, before he jumped out of the driver’s side of the cab (pictured), as his train collided with another.
Great Western service and South Western Railway service, from London Waterloo (to Honiton) were travelling in the exact same direction. Their tracks collided in the tunnel as their tracks joined together.
His family said tonight that they had ‘no further information’ regarding his condition.
Since he was 15, Mr. Tandy has worked for the railway for almost 60 years. He has also been a driver since 1970.
He was partially retired and was working as a driver for SWR.
Kevin Regan is a friend and colleague of almost 30 years. He told MailOnline that he was probably the most skilled driver in the country, if he wasn’t already.
I am unable to comprehend how any passengers were killed or more seriously injures.
“He probably only had six seconds to react and throw the brakes in emergency. As it was due to stop at Salisbury station, the train was probably traveling approximately 45-50mph. Remember that tracks were also wet from Sunday’s heavy rainfall.
“His knowledge and experience – having been a driver so long – must have played a role.
“He’s the hero, that’s for certain. He’s also suffered serious injuries which have cost him his life. We don’t know how much worse.
Mr Tandy (pictured) was airlifted to University Hospital Southampton following the shocking collision with what police described as ‘life-changing’ injuries. The crash resulted in no deaths.
SWR service departing from London Waterloo was on its way to Honiton in Devon, when it hit the GWR service at 6.45pm in Fisherton Tunnel. Pictured: Emergency services on scene
The collision occurred in the Fisherton tunnel, just outside Salisbury. Pictured: The scene of the collision.
‘The driver’s cab side is completely mangled according to the photos I’ve taken so he must have flung his body onto the other side just as he was about to fall.
“He was a great colleague because he’s a really kind man. He was very interested and active for his age in ballroom dancing.
“That’s why I just hope his injuries won’t limit his mobility too much.”
Regan, who retired in 2016, said that ‘Robin worked on the railways from the age of 15 and that he started as a cleaner before moving up to become a fireman or stoker-and-second man.
He became a driver in the 1970s, and continued working. SWR kept him on in a job-share arrangement with another driver aged 66 years old.
A train guard saved 92 rail passengers from certain death after the horrific collision on Sunday night.
Martin Miller, 52 years old, moved from carriage to carriage in the aftermath of the collision to calm down passengers, including a mother and her infant after the collision between two passenger trains.
The collision of the trains as they entered the Fisherton tunnel in Salisbury at 6.45pm Sunday did not result in any injuries.
Mr Miller, a veteran conductor who has 16 years of experience, was in one the rear carriages at the time of the crash.
Andy Cole (left), from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue talks near the scene in an accident involving two trains. The crash occurred near the Fisherton Tunnel, between Andover and Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Martin Miller, a hero train guard, led 92 terrified rail passengers safely to safety following Sunday night’s devastating collision.
Thirty-three passengers attended a local casualty center, while thirteen more were taken to hospital.
The shocking collision resulted in no deaths. There were fifty firefighters and other emergency personnel on the scene on Sunday night.
He immediately contacted the control center and went through the train, reassuring passengers that everything was fine and they would be able leave when the tracks were safe.
He spoke from his Hampshire home, near Andover, today and modestly admitted that he was not the one responsible.
“The company has been wonderful in fully supporting my needs. Apart from that, I can’t think of anything else.
The collision of the two trains in the Fisherton tunnel, just outside Salisbury City Centre, resulted in 92 passengers being on board.
Thirty-eight of them attended a hospital for the seriously injured, while 13 others were admitted to a nearby casualty center.
According to British Transport Police the driver of the SWR train, who is believed to be one the company’s most skilled employees, suffered ‘life-altering injuries’ and is currently being treated by University Hospital Southampton.
William Mills, a 29 year-old artist was onboard the SWR service. He was returning from London via Honiton to Exeter.
Investigators at the scene in an accident involving two trains, near the Fisherton Tunnel in Andover and Salisbury in Wiltshire
The SWR service, also known as Train 2, appears to be the most damaged of the two trains, with carriages leaning at 45°.
Two trains collided near the Fisherton Tunnel in Andover, Wiltshire. Emergency services arrived on the scene.
He called Mr Miller and said: “There had been a lot delays on the service prior the crash and he handled this situation brilliantly.
“He was very cheerful and confidently assisted passengers personal and gave them advice on the different connections, delays and rail substitutes.
‘When the train crashed, he was in one carriage at the back.
“I spoke to someone who was in that carriage and he said Martin really helped to keep passengers calmed and stopped them from panicking.
“He kept in touch with his emergency services and his control centre, and assured people that they had a way of escape and that they would be fine.
‘I later passed by him on the way to the rendezvous point at the church, and he was visibly shaken. He was also concerned about his colleague, who was the driver. As he spoke to police. He was a very nice man and it hurt to see him so broken down.
Noemi’s unexpected labor in November 2017 caused Noemi to go into labour while on the SWR between Waterloo & Farnham in Surrey. Mr Miller was there to help her.
He immediately contacted SWR’s control center and requested that an ambulance be sent to Noemi at Surbiton, the nearest station at that time.
Mr Miller then made arrangements for station staff members to meet Noemi on the platform and wait with them until the ambulance arrived.