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Polmont 1986

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WAGN train derailed after hitting cow.

  : Monday, October 11, 1999
A London-bound train from Hertford train was derailed after hitting a bullock that had strayed onto the line on the same day as the Paddington tragedy - Tuesday October 5. The train was carrying 24 passnegers and was travelling at about 30 mph towards Ware when the driver saw the animal ahead of him. Despite making an immediate brake application, the train hit the bullock derailing the front wheels. Although the driver was "a little shaken, no-one was hurt. The bullock was killed.

The train, consisting of 4 carriages was the 18:23 Hertford East to Liverpool Street service operated by WAGN.

It was the second day in succession that a cows had strayed onto the line through a broken fence. On Monday evening several cattle were spotted on the line by a driver. He was able to stop before hitting them.

Railtrack have repaired the fencing, but say that it had been the subject of vandalism as the railway is used as a shortcut. The rail infrastructure company added "We plan to put up vandal-proof steel fencing to stop people getting through."

A cow straying onto the railway was the cause of a serious accident at Polmont in Scotland in 1986. A 6-car Edinburgh to Glasgow express travelling at 85mph struck a calf killing 13 people and injuring a further 17.

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This file last updated: Tuesday, 26-Oct-1999 13:10:06 EDT
Copyright © David Fry 1999

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