Thursday, April 17, 2008

INCIDENT: Moor Lane FP, Staines, Surrey 16th April 2008

A woman has been killed after getting stuck on a footpath crossing and hit by a train.

Theresa Mansell, 66, had been crossing the line at Moor Lane, Staines, with a friend whilst walking a dog. It is believed that Mrs Mansell trapped her foot in a gap between a rail and the wooden decking of the crossing walkway. She was unable to free herself despite the efforts of her friend, Heather George, and was struck by a Waterloo to Windsor passenger train.

BBC News:

Photo: BBC News

INCIDENT: Kinbrace AOC, Sutherland 16th April 2008

A car has collided with a train on an automatic open crossing in Scotland.

Gordon Mackenzie, 33, was driving a Land Rover that was in collision with a Wick to Inverness passenger train. No injuries were reported either to the car driver or to the passengers and crew of the train, which did not derail.

Mr Mackenzie, who lives and works close to the crossing, has been charged with careless driving. He has been reported as saying that the sun was in his eyes and would like to see something done about the speed at which trains traverse the crossing.
Comment: This incident occured days after the sentencing of a driver who collided with a train after running the lights at another Scottish AOC, Delny. Strong sunlight obscuring the drivers view was offered as a mitigating factor in the case. A reduction of train speed over Delny crossing has also been implemented.

Is there now a need for new risk assessments at AOCs? Will sunlight and train speed now be used as mitigation after every AOC collision? Should AOCs be upgraded to AHB as a matter of priority?

BBC News:
The Northern Times:

Photos: Top - (c) The Northern Times
Bottom - John Butler


The teenage driver who failed to stop at a Scottish crossing and collided with an oncoming train, killing his two passengers, has been jailed for five years.

Richard Fleming, 18, had earlier admitted pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of Paul Oliver and Alan Thain, both 17, in the incident last February.

Taking into account the guilty plea, Judge Lord Brailsford accepted that Fleming was "full of remorse" for his actions. After hearing of comments made by local councillors about Delny crossing, the judge said that there was "cogent and persuasive evidence that there were problems with the level crossing where this accident occurred". Although such evidence was "not exculpatory of this offence", Lord Brailsford believed it was a factor that allowed Fleming to be dealt with more leniently than would normally be the situation in a case involving two deaths.

Since the incident, Delny AOC has been fitted with extended hoods on the lights and rail traffic speed over the crossing has been reduced. A Network Rail spokesperson said "The sad fact is that they were killed by an act of reckless driving, not by a level crossing".

BBC News:

INCIDENT: Scopwick MCG, Kirkby Green, Lincolnshire 9th April 2008

A train has struck the gates at a Lincolnshire crossing.
The Newark to Peterborough single car service crashed through the gates at Scopwick crossing near Kirkby Green. No casualties were reported on the train. which did not derail.

Scopton is one of the few remaining wheel-operated gated crossings. It is not known at this time if the crossing was operating correctly at the time of the incident.

BBC News:

Photo: Dave Bushell at

Thursday, April 10, 2008

INCIDENT: Cosham CCTV, Hampshire 09.04.08

A woman died when she was struck by a descending barrier at a CCTV controlled crossing.

Celia Matthews was reported to be in the middle of Cosham crossing when the closure sequence was initiated. A barrier struck her on the head and she fell to the ground. She died of her injuries four days later.

The signaller is claimed to have said that Mrs Matthews only started to cross after the closure sequence had begun.

Other pedestrian users have claimed that the crossing closes too quickly and that some have been stranded rail side when trains have passed.

A Network Rail spokesman said that an investigation in conjunction with HMRI into the incident.

UPDATE: The Office of Rail Regulation subsequently served two improvement notices against Network Rail in relation to the operation of the crossing; that the time taken from when the Cosham level crossing barriers begin to descend until they reach the lowered position for both the left hand and right hand barriers is too fast (less than 6 to 10 seconds) and that the road surface at Cosham level crossing has not been maintained in a good and even condition, and was in use with loose, misaligned road panels and unacceptable gaps. Both improvement notices have now been complied with.

Photo (c) Basher Eyre on Geograph

Friday, April 04, 2008


A man has been charged with the manslaughter of his partner following the recent incident at Hythe station.

Darren Palmer, 38, was remanded into custody by Colchester magistrates. Kelly Mack, 29, was killed when she was struck by a train after she and Mr Palmer crossed the line after the barriers had descended.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

INCIDENT: Tackley UWC, Oxfordshire 31.03.08

A woman was killed when she was hit by a high-speed train at a user worked crossing in Oxfordshire.

Margaret Evans was struck by a Dundee to Bournemouth CrossCountry train as she crossed the line at the south end of Tackley station. The RAIB have begun an investigation.

Although planning permission had been granted, residents rejected the building of a subway in 2003 and Network Rail was later unable to buy the land neccessary.

Trains can pass through the station at 90mph. The gated crossing, leading to a farm track, is the only way of crossing between platforms at the station. Tackley Parish Council asked for warning lights to be fitted to the crossing in 2003. However, a Network Rail risk assessment in 2007 found that signage on the proper use of the crossing was adequate protection. Local have reported several near-misses at the site, alleging that the curvature of the track makes it difficult to judge the approach time of express trains.

BBC News:
The Oxford Times:

Photo (c) Lee Fletcher