How a Motorway Blow-Out Led to Carnage on the Line; YORKSHIRE TRAIN DISASTER

By Sawer, Patrick | The Evening Standard (London, England), February 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

How a Motorway Blow-Out Led to Carnage on the Line; YORKSHIRE TRAIN DISASTER


Sawer, Patrick, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: PATRICK SAWER

A TERRIBLE sequence of accidental events led to today's rail crash.

It began with an everyday blow-out on a busy motorway. It was bad enough that the blow-out was suffered by a Land Rover pulling an estate car on a heavy low-loader in treacherous driving conditions. But it happened just as the vehicles were at a point where the M62 crosses the East Coast main line.

The vehicles somehow careered down the railway embankment and on to the track below, just as the 4.45am GNER from Newcastle was on its approach to Doncaster.

The driver of the Land Rover had already walked away from his vehicle unscathed and immediately rang 999 to raise the alarm. But he was too late.

The GNER ploughed into the vehicles on the track at 125mph, its driver unable to do anything to stop in time. The 999 operator heard the Land Rover driver shout "The train's coming", followed by a dreadful bang.

As the GNER continued 500 yards past the shattered vehicles, still upright but with its nine carriages disintegrating on the way, it was met by another train coming in the opposite direction - the 5am 17-wagon Freightliner train, carrying more than 1,000 tons of coal, travelling from Immingham docks in Humberside to the massive Ferrybridge power station near Pontefract. …

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