Report questions rail crossing guidance

Report questions rail crossing guidance

Network Rail has been issued with guidance after a train hit a car at a level crossing.

A report into the accident, in Woodbridge, Suffolk last year found that instructions given to motorists were inadequate.

The incident left the driver of the car with a minor head injury but the Rail Accident Investigation Branch has stepped in to make sure another accident does not take place.

The 6.04pm Ipswich to Lowestoft service, which had about 100 passengers on board, was forced into an emergency stop after seeing a car on the user-operated crossing at Jetty Avenue on July 14 of 2013.

The driver of the Volvo V70 estate car was attempting to cross the rail tracks to get to a private boatyard. The driver was unable to find reverse gear so could not clear the tracks before the train arrived.

The driver of the train applied the emergency brake about 58 metres from the crossing as he was travelling at about 25mph.

About five seconds later, with the train travelling at about 13mph, it hit the front right-hand side of the car, which was towing a small trailer.

The car was pushed to the left of the train, which carried on for another 15 metres and did not become derailed.

Despite damage to the car, the driver only suffered minor injuries and nobody on board the train was injured.

The report described the instructions given to drivers at the crossing as "inadequate" and made a total of five recommendations - four to NR and one to the Office of Rail Regulation.

Copyright Press Association 2014