Wednesday, February 27, 2008

INCIDENT: Wraysholme AOC, Flookburgh, Cumbria 27th February 2008

A car was in collison with a passenger train at the Wraysholme level crossing, near Flookburgh, Cumbria.

The Land Rover was struck by a Manchester Airport to Barrow train travelling up to 50mph, critically injuring the 31-year-old car driver who was airlifted to Lancaster Royal Infirmary. His passenger, a 23-year-old man from Ashton-In-Makerfield, was taken to Furness General Hospital suffering from a broken ankle and bruising to his face and hands.

Both the train driver and guard suffered minor injuries; no injuries were reported amongst the 22 passengers. The class 185 Desiro train did not derail.

A Network Rail spokesman said the crossing appeared to have been working correctly at the time of the incicent. The RAIB have been informed.

BBC News:
North West Evening Mail:

Friday, February 22, 2008


A man who played 'chicken' with an oncoming passenger train on a footpath crossing has been jailed for six months.

Andrew Ogden, 21, from Great Meadow, Astley Village, had already pleaded guilty to obstruction without intent for the offence committed in July 2007 . Standing on the crossing with his arms raised, Ogden had jumped away only seconds before the 50mph train arrived on the crossing.

Inspector Gary Jones of British Transport Police said. "This was a shocking case of somebody blatantly showing off to their friends which could so easily have ended in tragedy".

Chorley Today:

Monday, February 18, 2008

INCIDENT: Spondon MCB CCTV 15th February 2008

Delays to road and rail traffic were the result of a vehicle striking the barriers at an oft-abused crossing in Derbyshire.

Spondon crossing was closed for a significant period in the morning as Network Rail replaced a damaged barrier struck by an encroaching vehicle.

The crossing, close to several industrial plants, has a history of abuse from light-jumpers and tailgating long vehicles.

Network Rail ran a safety awareness campaign at the crossing in late 2007.

Comment: I cross here twice a day and have seen a number of near misses. Slow moving, long vehicles often tailgate across and catch descending barriers. Cars driven too quickly on approach to the crossing - a ninety degree bend in one direction, a humped back bridge in the other - can be seen trying to beat the lights. As a MCB CCTV crossing on a main line, the crossing can remain closed for up to eight minutes at a time.

I'll be highlighting Spondon crossing in the first of a series of special reports later in the year.

Friday, February 15, 2008

INCIDENT: Attleborough FC, 13th February 2008

A pedestrian has been killed on a footpath crossing in Norfolk.

Margaret Thomson, 83, from Attleborough, was crossing the Leys Lane footpath crossing shortly before 10.30am with her friend Shirley Marsters and a dog in foggy conditions.

She was hit by the 07.06 Mansfield-Norwich service and died at the scene. No injuries were reported on the train, which did not derail. The other pedestrian, Shirley Masters, was uninjured.

“It was so foggy, you have no idea,” Mrs Masters said. “We looked both ways and there wasn't a sound - we didn't hear anything, we didn't see anything. There was just this whoosh. I just turned around and Margaret was gone. We hadn't had a chance to get out of the way - the train did clip her."

Residents have called for further safety measures to be introduced at the crossing, which is a popular route for dog walkers using the adjacent park.

Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury: story here
BBC News:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The car driver involved in the multiple fatality at Delny AOC in February 2007 has admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Richard Fleming, 18, accelerated towards the crossing which had red warning lights activated. Striking the underside of the lead coach, the collision was so severe it knocked the engine out of the car. One passenger, Paul Oliver, 17,was declared dead at the scene. Fellow teenager, Allan Thain, also 17, died some days later in hospital.

Advocate-depute depute Graeme Jessop said "The only two possible explanations for the collision are either the accused for some reason failed to notice the red lights, or he deliberately chose to ignore the red lights."

Fleming, who has passed his test just months before the incident, also admitted dangerous driving on the A9 near Kildary, when he reached a speed of 108mph, in December 2006. The Crown accepted Fleming's not guilty plea to another charge of dangerous driving, on 25 January, 2007, when he allegedly failed to give way at a roundabout and drove into the path of a police car, and drove up to 80mph in a built-up area and over a level crossing.

Released on bail on compassionate grounds, Fleming is to be sentenced in April. The judge, Lord Brailsford, said: "I think that in this case there is a high degree of probability that there will be a custodial disposal."
BBC News: