Crossings signals ‘working’ at Knaresborough station when train hit tractor

Tractor sliced in half by train at Oakwood Farm station (s)
Tractor sliced in half by train at Oakwood Farm station (s)

The warning lights at Oakwood Farm crossing were working correctly when a train collided a tractor in May, an investigation has discovered.

A Northern Rail train travelling at 65mph from Leeds to York collided with a stationary tractor at the station in Flaxby at 6.16pm on May 14.

An investigation into the crash from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that both the track circuits and the miniature stop lights (MSL) were working at the time of the crash.

At this crossing, the MSL show a green light when there are no trains near and a red light to indicate one is approaching.

The approach of a train also activates an audible alarm sounder however, the RAIB found that the tractor driver opened the gates using a mounted button.

A power operated system allows the gates to be opened and closed remotely using buttons on posts either side of the crossing and the gates can be operated at any time.

While some regular users are provided with mobile operating devices to control the gates from their vehicles, the RAIB found that the tractor driver did use one.

The tractor driver and two of the three train were hospitalised after the incident but none of the 66 passengers on board were injured.

The force of the collision split the tractor in half and British Transport Police (BTP) confirmed they were continuing to investigate how the accident took place.

Detective Inspector Glen Alderson from (BTP) said: “The RIAB and the Office of Rail Regulation are undertaking their own independent investigations and our enquiry will take into account their findings.”