The Copmanthorpe Website

Copmanthorpe Train Derailment

On September 25th 2006 at 20:58 a train de-railed an came to a halt in Copmanthorpe.

Report by Chris Sharp.

As Spookes began on BBC 1 our house started to shake. This was nothing new, living next to the railway this was nothing new and I assumed it was a heavy freight train braking hard. But when I looked out and saw that it was a small passenger train, I new something was wrong. A hurried walk to the front of the train revealed that Copmanthorpe would be getting a mention in the next edition of "Great Train Disasters".

I spoke with the driver at 21:10 and he told me that he had hit car on a level crossing. The only level crossing in the area is 1¼km south west of where the train stopped. The train was heading on the “down slow” line towards York (that's the nearest of the four tracks) so I assumed it had come from Leeds. It appears that the car was not on the level crossing, but had driven through the fence at the end of Moor Lane.  There was a level crossing there up until 25 years ago, but it was removed and access was replaced by New Moor Lane.  This means the train came to a stop in 800m (½mile).

The first emergency services on the scene went to the end of Moor Lane. The Fire service reached Fairfax Croft around 22:00 with the first Ambulance getting to the best location around 22:30. At this point passengers were allowed to alight from the train to waiting (road) coaches (which had been in the wrong place for about 45 minutes).

All passengers were off the train by 22:58 when the trains engines were switched off.

Fortunately the railway between the crossing and Copmanthorpe has no switches (points) or crossing so the train, a Virgin Voyager, stayed upright with only the first coach coming off the rails, in fact the very front axle appears to have stayed on the tracks, with some of the car stuck underneath the front boggie. The leading coach was First Class and only had a few people in it. None of the trains 70 or so passengers were taken away in an ambulance.

21:15 - Photo of the front of the train with some of the damage visible.

22:50 - The last coach of the train with just a few passengers still on board awaiting the all clear from the paramedics

The Following Morning and the Recovery of the Train

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