Latest Llanboidy crash: remarkable pictures

lorry crashed into train at Llanboidy crossing

half and half

The picture tells it all: a flatbed lorry stands half inside, half outside the level crossing barrier. The barrier is down. The cab is out of sight to the right, touching the train.  The tail of the lorry with its hoist is left of the man’s elbow.

This was the passengers’ view through the window of the 15:08 from Milford to Manchester last Friday afternoon, as it came to a juddering standstill at the Llanboidy road level crossing at Henllan Amgoed, already notorious for a collision with a hay lorry last December. “There was a judder, not much more”, passenger and photographer Derek Webb told Fishguard Trains. “I took this picture from the left side of the train where I was sitting. We had a long wait for police, fire crews and ambulance. Ambulance men came through the train several times asking if anyone was injured – there were no injuries. People were surprisingly calm and very tolerant, in view of the three hour delay. The fitter eventually declared the train safe to continue to Whitland.”

The crossing barrier seems undamaged in Derek Webb’s photo, as if  it came down after the cab had already reached the crossing, but before the tail of the lorry had passed. What will the investigation of this accident, together with last December’s accident, reveal about the safety of this level crossing just outside Whitland? All rail users in Fishguard, Haverfordwest and Milford will want to know.

In a word, is Henllan Amgoed level crossing safe?

damaged front coach with lorry mirror embedded

rear view mirror

Derek Webb took this shot when the train eventually reached Whitland. The damage to the front left corner of the front coach is clear. But no, that’s not a rear view mirror fitted to the driver’s cab of the Arriva train. That’s the lorry’s own rear view mirror, ripped from the cab of the lorry in the collision, and embedded in the train.

It could be funny if this was not such a serious safety matter.

LETTERSTON UPDATE

Fishguard Trains sources confirm that seven head of cattle were indeed killed in the collision near Welsh Hook on July 12th. The cattle apparently entered the track through fencing adjacent to a footpath crossing, where repairs were made in March this year. The investigation is understood to be considering the newly-installed fencing in relation to this incident.

 

5 Comments

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5 Responses to Latest Llanboidy crash: remarkable pictures

  1. Rhydgaled

    Two accidents on the same crossing? Something odd going on there.

    I think 175101 looks less damaged than 175002 was after it hit the hay lorry, I hope this means it’ll be back in service faster than 175002 was.

  2. Anthony

    A shocking few pics there glad 175101 isnt as damaged as 175002 but as we all know this incident could have been a lot worse however is does how well built the class 175’s are in fact I wonder how a class 158 would have stood up to such a impact.

    • Blocking Back

      A 158 had an even worse impact at Llanboidy Crossing on 27th April 1994. Believe it or not, a Dyfed County Council JCB driver had decided to do some digging on the crossing and had deployed the stabilisation jacks while operating the rear bucket-arm. Consequently he was entirely unable to move the JCB when the Fishguard Boat Train approached at full line speed (back then the Boat Train didn’t stop at Whitland).

      The train driver applied emergency brakes and ran back into the train, shouting a warning to the passengers to brace for impact. The JCB’s front bucket hit the driver’s cab, which was utterly destroyed – the driver would have been killed had he not been quick-witted enough to bail out.

      Having been hit on the front bucket, the JCB spun in the air – the rear bucket-arm then penetrated the side of the train, injuring a woman sitting in one of the window seats. Thanks to the driver’s warning, other passengers had ducked or dived into the aisle, which undoubtedly saved lives. The rear arm of the JCB snapped off and remained impaled in the side of the train, which eventually came to a stop under the A40 road bridge. The remains of the JCB, plus driver, flew through the air for around 50 feet, taking the top half off the relay room at the crossing.

  3. Swansea Jack

    In all truth people with that sort of lack of common sense shouldn’t really be allowed out in control of a push bike, leave alone a JCB or other mechanically powered device like a car. With the number of incidents at Llanboidy Crossing over the years it’s surely time for NR to convert it to a foot crossing. It appears that the complete lack of common sense by some drivers in the area is a major concern.

  4. Rob

    RAIB report has been released
    http://www.raib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/120927_R202012_Llanboidy.pdf
    Looks like the lorry driver didn’t call the signaller for permission to cross with a slow load, and drive “wrong side” over the crossing so was caught by the half barrier which fell to stop vehicles from entering the crossing.

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