Hero Luton train driver in line for top award

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An off duty Luton train driver who helped the driver and passengers of a train after it hit a person, is in line for a top award.

Mo Latif, of Luton, who drives trains across the Bedford to Brighton, Wimbledon and Sevenoaks Thameslink route, was a passenger himself travelling back towards the end of a long shift, on the 22.05 Brighton to Bedford service, when it was involved in the fatality near a station in Surrey. Without a second thought, Mo leapt into action, providing support and emotional assistance to the shaken driver.

The situation became worse for waiting passengers when the train batteries expired, plunging the carriages into darkness. Mo walked up and down the train, continually offering support and reassurance to the passengers, making sure everyone was safe and understood what was happening.

When the train was finally passed safe to move, sometime after midnight, it was clear the driver was not in a fit state to continue. Rather than delay passengers still further while a relief driver was found, Mo took over the controls and moved the train to the next station where the passengers were able to alight. He then drove the train a further two hours to return the train to its depot in Bedford. Mo worked a 15 hour shift.

Mo has been shortlisted for an award in the category ‘Outstanding Personal Contribution’ of the National Rail Awards. He was interviewed by judges on 8 June and the winner will be announced in September.

Mo’s line manager Mike Bland said: “Mo stayed on shift way past his sign off time to support the driver, as well as get the passengers to another station where they could carry on with their vastly disrupted journeys, and then move the train, whilst empty, back to Bedford. This is way and above what would have been expected.”

GTR Chief Executive Officer Charles Horton commended Mo’s actions, saying: “His professionalism is a credit to himself and GTR. He should be congratulated on his actions and for demonstrating our company values and behaviours so professionally.”