A train driver who was exposed to asbestos by his employers has received substantial compensation after he was diagnosed with a devastating lung disease.

Robin Gould from Westbury, Wiltshire was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2012 after suffering from breathlessness.

The 73-year-old retired member of trade union ASLEF has been told by doctors that there is no cure for the disease, caused by exposure to asbestos.

Mr Gould was exposed to asbestos while working as a fireman, cleaner and then driver for the former British Railways Board.

Asbestos was used to lag boilers and cylinders

Asbestos was used to lag boilers and cylinders and between casings on the trains.

Mr Gould, who worked on the railways until he retired after 55 years’ service, was never provided with protection from the dust, nor warned about the dangers to his health.

Following his diagnosis he contacted Thompsons Solicitors for advice on claiming compensation. Thompsons successfully settled his claim out of court. The settlement included a payment of £2,000 towards his care at Dorothy House Hospice Care, a charity based near Bradford-on-Avon.

Mr Gould said: “All I have ever known is working on the railways. In the early years we had no idea that asbestos was dangerous. If only we had been warned then perhaps I wouldn’t be suffering from mesothelioma now.

“Dorothy House Hospice has provided me with a great deal of care during the last few months and I felt it was important that they were recompensed for their work.”

Many people were exposed to asbestos working on the railways

Eamonn McDonough from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Sadly Mr Gould is one of many men who worked on the railways and was exposed to asbestos. Our extensive experience meant we were able to trace where and how he was exposed in his railway career. As well as obtaining full compensation for Mr Gould, we have also been able to claim an additional payment for the hospice which has been providing him with greatly valued care during this difficult time.”

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary from ASLEF added: “Many of our members and retired members were exposed to asbestos working on the railways and we will continue to fight their corner to ensure they are fully compensated for asbestos disease.”