VEHICLE ‘WRITTEN OFF’ IN WELSH HIGHLAND LEVEL CROSSING SMASH
A car collided with a train on a level crossing on the Welsh Highland Railway on July 4.
The incident occurred on the crossing over Cwm Cloch lane near Beddgelert, when the 3.40pm Porthmadog-Caernarfon service hauled by one of the WHR’s ‘NGG16’ Garratts, No. 138, was struck by a Ford Puma. Nobody was injured and the locomotive reportedly suffered only cosmetic damage. However, the two carriages immediately behind the locomotive suffered “thousands of pounds’ worth” of damage, according to a WHR spokesman. They added: “The driver of the vehicle appears to have paid no attention to the sign which requires drivers to stop, look and listen, and drove straight on to the crossing while the train was present. The driver was very lucky to get off so lightly. The car is a write-off.” More than a hundred passengers were inconvenienced by the incident, and arrangements were made for them to complete their journey by road. There was minimal disruption to WHR services as the incident occurred on the last train of the day, and normal service was resumed on July 6.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch briefly took control of the site and the police were also in attendance. The site was quickly released back to WHR staff once the circumstances were understood and the recovery operation completed.
The railway’s general manager, Paul Lewin, praised the staff for working quickly and efficiently in the hot weather conditions to look after the passengers, resolve the problems and recover the train. The collision follows an incident on June 10, when ‘NGG16’ No. 143 derailed near Rhyd Ddu (see Narrow Gauge News, p34/35).
The aftermath of the collision between the Ford Puma and one of the WHR’s Garratts on July 4.