This shocking CCTV footage shows a dog walker come within seconds of being hit by a speeding train.
It was filmed three weeks after another terrifying near miss at the same spot at the Harlech Cliffs level crossing between Machynlleth and Pwllheli in northwest Wales.
The clip has been released by National Rail as part of a safety warning urging people to have their wits about them when using rail crossings.
Parents are advised to keep children close at all times, with pets kept on leads, while everyone should take notice of safety signs before setting foot on the intersections.
Train driver Mike Leonard, 54, recalled the earlier near miss: ‘I saw two white things on the track, I thought they were sheep.
‘Then I realised they were dogs and suddenly this elderly man with a walking stick came up from the beach and just stepped out in front of the train, too.
‘The dogs weren’t on a lead and the man didn’t even look as he crossed.
‘I was about four seconds away from hitting him.’
Mr Leonard says he has lost count of the number of time he has nearly hit people who have wandered onto the tracks when it was unsafe.
He went on: ‘In that moment you’re actually helpless.
‘You put the brake into emergency, you blow the horn, and it’s out of your hands. The train stops when it stops. You just watch everything unfolding in front of you. It’s like it all just slows down.
‘I have had around six instances I would call very bad near misses, where people have been seconds away from being hit by the train.
‘One time involved two school children near Shrewsbury where one was dancing on the track, purposely misusing the level crossing – recklessly risking their life.’
The driver is one of many rail industry workers who have had to take time off work after witnessing a near miss or fatality on the job. He said incidents like this can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.
He went on: ‘The impact of these incidents, especially fatalities of this kind, reach further than people think.
‘You sometimes go blank, and you keep on thinking about it – the “what ifs” really play on your mind. The more instances you have, it’s like you’ve had enough, it can be depressing.’
Krista Sexton, head of operational risk at Network Rail Wales and Borders said: ‘Trains approach almost silently. If you’re distracted by a dog, headphones, mobile phone or anything else, you won’t notice a train approaching until it’s too late.
‘Our advice is simple: STOP, LOOK and LISTEN before using a railway crossing and stay alert.’
Phil Caldwell, Network Rail’s level crossing manager for Harlech, added: ‘Please let your memories be happy ones and not marred by the loss of your beloved pet or worse!’