Man describes terrifying moment he faced an oncoming train in near miss at level crossing

PUBLISHED: 15:38 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:38 07 October 2020

Gary Grimson says he had a near miss with a train at Holt Fen level crossing in Little Thetford. Picture: Google Maps

Gary Grimson says he had a near miss with a train at Holt Fen level crossing in Little Thetford. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

A man claims he was forced to run from an oncoming train after thinking it was safe to cross a manual level crossing which displayed “no warnings”.

Gary Grimson was walking from his boat moored in the Great River Ouse at Little Thetford when he began to cross the train track at Holt Fen.

The 59-year-old describes the terrifying moment he spotted a train heading towards him when he was already half way across the tracks.

Mr Grimson claims there was no flashing lights or sirens warning him of an oncoming train before the incident on Tuesday, October 6 at around 4.45pm.

He said: “I’d just gone through the footpath gate to cross, I got about half way across when I noticed a train coming down the track.

“It took me a split second to realise ‘hey that is a bit close, that shouldn’t be happening’, it was at that point that I decided to run.

“When I got across to the other side I still looked to see and there were no warning lights or sirens, within 15 seconds the train had gone past.”

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Mr Grimson was meeting a friend on the other side who watched the incident unfold, they both decided to use the crossing’s phone to speak to a signaller.

He added: “I was talking to the signalman on the phone who gave a story about what might have occurred but said there was no fault.

“I wasn’t convinced and I didn’t really want to accept that, but after around two minutes being on the phone, the lights appeared to work on the crossing.

“When I crossed there was no warning lights, none of the red lights were flashing, none of the sirens were going and the train past within 15 seconds.

“Although it wasn’t a critical near miss, it was close enough, it was too close.”

Unsatisfied with what the signalman had told him on the phone, Mr Grimson decided to report the incident to Network Rail when he got home that evening.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “This was investigated at the time of report and was sent across to our control team.

“A mobile operations manager had attended the site and inspected the level crossing.

“He has confirmed the level crossing is working in order and there has been no fault found.”


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