Sunday, October 11, 2009

INCIDENT: Halkirk AOCL, Caithness 29.09.09

Three people died when their vehicle was struck by a passenger train on an automatic open crossing in Caithness.

Angus MacKay (81), his wife Margaret MacKay (81) and his brother Donald MacKay (66) died when their car was hit on the Halkirk Bridge Street crossing by the 1038 service from Inverness to Wick. No casualties were reported on the train, which did not derail.

A Network Rail spokesman said that an initial investigation showed there was "nothing to suggest that the crossing was not functioning correctly at the time of the collision". The Rail Accident Investigation Board is carrying out an investigation into the incident.

Comment; With AOCLs accounting for only 2% of Network Rail’s crossings, but 31% of all road-rail collisions in the last ten years - including several multiple fatalities - the feasibility of such crossings maintaining their maximum line speed of 55mph ought to be called into question.

BBC News:

Photo (c) John Baikie, as reproduced on the BBC website


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