Janet Morrison of Newcastle, England, may not seem like a special kind of woman, but a story dating back to last year says otherwise.
The 53-year-old, known to be a mom of two and former drama teacher, is also a metro train driver for Nexus services.
Like any other operator, Morrison has had her good days and bad days. But June 19, 2017, was definitely a heart-pounding day for her.
On her 3:30 p.m. route in Gateshead, Morrison was approaching one of her stops when a middle-aged lady suddenly fell onto the tracks about 50 meters away.
As she approached the fallen woman at nearly 30 mph, Morrison’s immediate reaction was to pull the brake and stop the train.
“I did it without thinking, it was instinct,” she said. “The seconds it took to stop felt like forever.”
In similar events, metro drivers are taught to turn away, but Morrison couldn’t help but look. By the time the train came to a stop, it was just feet away from hitting the woman.
Presumably in shock, Morrison alerted her passengers and contacted Nexus about the incident. She then watched as good Samaritans tried to help the commuter.
“It was at that point two or three other passengers from the other platform jumped down to offer their assistance,” Morrison recalled as she watched another train approaching from the opposite end.
“I couldn’t tell if it was moving, so I put on my bossy teacher’s voice to tell them to get back on the platform.”
The fallen woman was later taken to a hospital by first responders. Morrison eventually dropped off her passengers and was able to take the rest of the day off.
While this event was an insane experience for the train driver, this wasn’t her first heroic act. About four years ago, Morrison safely evacuated passengers after the brakes on her train caught on fire.
Her quick thinking has led to her receiving Frontline Employee at the North of England Transport Awards. She was also recognized for her involvement in Metro’s new social media project in 2016.
Morrison believed she hadn’t done anything special. “It is nice to be recognized,” she said, “but I think there’s a lot of other drivers whose actions have gone under the radar. I don’t think I’ve done anything special really.”
Metro Services Director, Chris Carson, disagreed and believed she was deserving of every accolade. “She is a credit to her profession and to the Tyne and Wear Metro,” he said.
We have a feeling that her passengers and the woman whose life was in peril would agree with that assessment.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.