Tag Archives: collision

Flaxby, UK: Problem crossing – the story continues….

7 Dec

The Oakwood Farm user worked crossing near Flaxby on the York to Harrogate line has a very long history of misuse and abuse going back to at least 1991 when I was British Rail’s regional director with responsibility for this crossing. Then, with manually operated gates, the authorised user and his guests routinely chose to leave the gates open. I do not know how many times someone was sent to the crossing to close the gates. Indeed the gates open at Oakwood Farm crossing generated numerous reports from train crew attesting to the gates being open again.

Significant investment on the part of the railway saw miniature stop lights installed, fully interlocked with the signalling system to ensure a very high integrity of warning.  However, misuse has continued since then and led to a collision on May 14th, 2015 that could have had catastrophic consequences. Fortunately no one was killed, although the train driver sustained injuries which kept him off work for 5 1/2 months when his train struck a tractor on the crossing.

Now the tractor driver who admitted endangering safety on the railway has been sentenced by Judge Paul Batty QC to 150 hours of unpaid community work and payment of £300 prosecution costs. The costs to the rail industry were nearly £120,000.

Listening to broadcast media reports and reading the contribution of print-based media it’s clear the long history of misuse has not been reported. In one case, the main story was the Judge saying that the crossing needs to be further upgraded by Network Rail. But, in reality can this be justified on safety grounds? Surely, there should be at least as great a focus on enforcing the safe use of the crossing as presently configured?  i do hope that Network Rail and British Transport Police are proactive in this regard.

Roudham, Norfolk, UK: Casualties in collision on private crossing

13 Apr

Investigation of the circumstances leading to the collision of a train with a farm tractor are centred on establishing whether the farm worker used the level crossing as required. In short, did the tractor driver obtain permission from the signaller by means of the telephone at the private user worked level crossing.

The collision which occurred on the Roudham user worked level crossing at about 12.30pm on Sunday April 10th led to both the train and tractor drivers being taken to hospital and seven passengers travelling on the train being treated for minor injuries at the scene of the collision which impacted travel over the route between Ely and Norwich for the rest of the day.




Stafford, UK:Obstructing the railway = 68 month sentence

8 Apr

A motorist who drove his car onto the railway at Clay Mills level crossing, Burton-on-Trent, and continued along the railway for 220 metres has received a 68-month custodial sentence. He abandoned the car which was then hit by a passenger train which had been travelling at 100mph but application of the emergency brake had reduced speed to 70mph at the point of impact.

The offence of obstructing the railway to which Jonathan Mather pleaded guilty occurred on July 20th, 2015 and Mather was sentenced at Stafford Crown Court on April 8th, 2016. The court heard that having abandoned the car, Mather was found by British Transport Police (BTP) to be hiding in line side bushes. Although no one was injured, the Court was told that the rail industry incurred expenditure of GBP650,000 comprising damage to the train and infrastructure, delays and compensation.

Detective Sergeant Shanie Erwin of BTP said: “Mather claimed to have had an episode of memory loss as a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, however he was fully assessed by an independent mental health team and deemed fit to be interviewed by Police and prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Footage of the crash has been released by British Transport Police (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da-qcji2na0)



Granville, ND:Amtrak train collides with a truck

26 Nov

Police have reported that a truck driver has been taken to hospital with injuries sustained when his truck was hit by an Amtrak train on a level crossing in North Dakota. The collision at about 1.00pm on November 24th, 2016near Granville is reported as occurring because the truck driver failed to yield to the approaching train. The articulated truck was split by the impact with the tractor unit ending-up on one side of the railway and the semi-trailer on the other.


Chatham-Kent, Ont: 78-year-old truck driver killed on passive crossing

19 Nov

The 78-year-old driver of a large truck was killed when it was struck by a train on a passive level crossing. The collision which occurred at about 12.40 on November 16th was on Euphemia Line in the Dawn-Euphemia Township in Lambton County. Images published in local media show the crossing to have a poor profile which fits with a police description of the truck driver trying to cross the railway when it was struck by a southbound freight train.


East Point, GA: Train strikes bus straddling the tracks

18 May

Welcome All - Ben HillA bus was trapped on a level crossing as the driver appears to have entered the crossing without his exit being completely clear. The collision occurred on the Welcome All Road level crossing of the CSX Transportation right-of-way in East Point, near Atlanta, immediately after which the bus was to make a left turn on to Ben Hill Road, The distance between the road junction and the level crossing is less than 20 metres.

The collision occurred at about 5.00pm on May 14th, 2015.  While the bus passengers were alerted to the approaching train and many left the bus safely, the bus driver and five passengers five were injured with one of the passengers sustaining serious injuries.

Nangis, France: 30 injured in train-truck collision

23 Apr

Thirty people were injured when a passenger train collided with an exceptional load articulated truck on a quad barrier level crossing in Nangis, Seine et Marne Department, about 50km from Paris occurred during the morning of April 21st, 2015. it is not known why the truck had stopped folding the level crossing. The collision derailed the locomotive and five carriages. The local Mayor said that the crossing was not particularly accident-prone.