Inquiry launched as train and lorry in near miss

A PASSENGER train was just inches from disaster when it narrowly missed colliding with a lorry at a rural crossing in Suffolk.

Jonathan Schofield

A PASSENGER train was just inches from disaster when it narrowly missed colliding with a lorry at a rural crossing in Suffolk.

The 6.38am commuter train from Liverpool Street to Peterborough was travelling along a stretch of track between Elmswell and Bury St Edmunds shortly before 8.30am yesterday when a lorry began driving across the track at Elmswell Hall Farm crossing.

According to Network Rail the near miss was “very close” leaving passengers in shock and the driver so shaken the train had to be terminated when it arrived in Bury.

A spokesman from Network Rail said: “It was a very, very close call that left the train driver and many of the passengers shocked and shaken up.”

The crossing is described as a 'user worked crossing' where drivers are instructed to stop their vehicles and use the phone to check if the line is clear to cross.

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The spokesman criticised the lorry driver in yesterday's incident for not making the call.

“The call goes through to the signal room in Bury who can give the all clear. We have checked the records and there was no call made.

“We will be conducting a full investigation into what happened with British Transport Police. We can only stress that there is never room for complacency in these matters and if there is a phone at the crossing it must be used,” he said.

A spokesman from train operator National Express said all the passengers were transferred to a later train in Bury travelling to Cambridge to connect with services to Peterborough.

He said: “We can confirm that there was a near miss on the crossing concerning the 6.38am train from Liverpool Street and the train was terminated at Bury to treat the driver for shock.”

The Network Rail spokesman said the crossing and phone had been checked and no faults had been found.

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