Friday 8th January 1971
BRITISH RAIL take a serious view of the
level crossing crash at Radstock on Wednesday and have ordered an immediate
This was stated yesterday by Mr John Cormack,
assistant PRO, British Rail, Bristol. He was referring to the incident
in which a string of 19 empty railway wagons ran away and crashed through
the level crossing gate on the old Frome-Bristol railway line.
No one was hurt, but Mr Cedric Brown, of
Welton Road, Radstock, had a narrow escape.
He was halfway over the crossing in a van
when he caught sight of the wagons. I saw the first truck come
through the gate, and slammed into reverse and went back, he said.
The driver of another van behind Mr Brown,
said, I saw the trucks coming, and I thought he would never get
The crash of the breaking gates brought
people from shops, and the wagons came to rest blocking the main Bath-Shepton
One of the four gates was completely demolished,
and another damaged as the wagons rolled past.
A large van had just gone over the crossing,
travelling towards Bath, but there were no pedestrians on the crossing.
The wagons were only moving slowly, and
came to rest when seven had gone through the gate.
They had been left in the goods yard on
the Frome side of the crossing, and were unattended when they went through
The road was blocked for about 15 minutes,
until a diesel locomotive towed the wagons clear.
According to Mr Cormack, the train had come from Frome and the accident happened while some of the wagons were being detached.
A single decker bus laden with passengers
might well have been in the path of the runaways but the driver had
stopped to allow Mr Brown to come out into the main stream of traffic
from the Frome road.
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