A RAIL worker caught under the influence of alcohol while in charge of a busy line, was fined yesterday.
Former signalman David Smith, 55, was three times the legal limit permitted when he turned up to start a night shift in May.
Prior to the offence Smith had been drinking while out with his wife for lunch to calm himself down because he had had an argument with his brother.
He was caught when police smelled alcohol on his breath at the Newtonhill railway signal box where he worked in Aberdeenshire.
Yesterday Smith, who resigned from his job shortly after the incident, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing. He was fined £600.
The court heard that Smith, of Aberdeen, had found new employment in a warehouse. He admitted a charge of working on a transport system while under the influence of alcohol when he last appeared in court.
Smith was responsible for the Aberdeen to London line and had worked for the same railway firm for 20 years.
He was caught after police were called out to the railway signal block in connection with a separate incident on 10 May.
A Network Rail spokesman said yesterday: “We have a zero-tolerance policy towards the misuse of alcohol or drugs and our employees.”