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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hero stationmaster SACKED for leaping on to tracks and pulling trolley out of path of oncoming trains... because of elf 'n' safety rules

By Daily Mail Reporter

● 'What I did prevented an accident,' Ian Faletto said
● Bosses claim actions 'broke health and safety' rules

Furious: Devoted station master Ian Faletto has been accused of breaching safety regulations despite preventing a train crash

A dedicated station master has been sacked after 27 years working for the same company - for pulling a shopping trolley off the track.

Ian Faletto jumped onto the line at Lymington Pier train station, Hants, and pulled the obstacle back onto the platform after it was chucked on by yobs.

He was dismissed for 'a serious breach of safety' by heartless South West Trains for his act of bravery, which prevented a crash with oncoming trains.

Ian, who managed Lymington Town, Lymington Pier, Ashurst and Beaulieu Road stations, spent hundreds of pounds a year of his own money on flowers for the four stations he looked after, went in on his days off to man them and provided free sweets and jigsaws for passengers.

And the 49-year-old - who wore a buttonhole to work and even spent his own money having carpets and heaters installed in his stations - was said to be furious at the decision.

'What I did prevented an accident,' he said.

'I saw the trolley on the line at Lymington Pier, got power turned off and managed to remove it before the first train arrived that morning.

'I can't believe they have sacked me after all I have done for them.

Devoted: Ian, who wore a buttonhole to work, spent a lot of his own money on making stations more comfortable

'I have gone in on days off and spent thousands of pounds of my own money making the stations the best they can be.

'I don't know how how I am going to get by now - because I was sacked I have lost my mortgage protection and my pension.

'I will have to find a way, but the trains are all I know.' Ian, who is taking South West Trains to a tribunal, has had a flood of support from passengers who are signing a petition to get him reinstated.

Petition organiser Reverend Alex Russell, 52, said, 'He always went the extra mile for passengers. "No one has ever had a bad word to say about him. People have been driving miles to come to the station just to sign my petition.

'He has been sacked for breach of Health and Safety but there is an exception rule if it is an emergency.

Near disaster: The trolley was on the track at Lymington Pier station, which Ian managed

'I would have thought stopping an accident on a railway track is an emergency.

'His life is ruined. He has worked for the railways for 27 years and has nothing else.'

Ian, from Southampton, worked at nearby Sway station for 15 years, where he won several awards, before moving to Lymington.

Just ten weeks after he transferred in 2006 Lymington was named the most improved station in the region.

But his perfect track record did not stop South West Trains giving him the sack.

A South West Trains spokesman said: "We can confirm that an employee has been dismissed for a serious breach of safety.

'All our employees are aware of the importance of complying with the strict rules governing railway safety, which we have a duty to enforce.'

Safety concerns: South West Trains said that they had a duty to enforce the rules of railway safety



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