Posted 27th July 2015 | 2 Comments

Cows derail train in Kent

A RAILWAY line in Kent has been closed after a Southeastern train collided with cows on Sunday evening. Southeastern said the accident, near Chilham, involved a train travelling between Ashford and Canterbury West.

Southeastern said no one on the train had been hurt, and although the leading vehicle was derailed it did not overturn.

Work to recover the train is taking place today, and Network Rail engineers will then assess the condition of the track at the site of the derailment before they can allow the line to be reopened.

Replacement buses are running in the area. Southeastern added: "We would like to thank our driver who acted quickly after his train collided with the cows. He realised at this point his radio had stopped working so he jumped out of the cab and ran down the track to halt an approaching train. He was then able to contact the signaller through the radio of this train to switch off the power to the line.

“We can confirm no one was injured and all passengers on board were taken from the train to a nearby village hall where they were given refreshments and buses and taxis were arranged to take them home.

“We would like to thank the local residents of the village of Godmersham who opened up the village hall for us so late at night and helped provide warm drinks for our passengers.

“Network Rail is on site today investigating any damage that may have occurred.n Where possible, people should travel from Canterbury East where they can join a High Speed service at Faversham/Ashford at no extra cost."

Disruption may continue tomorrow.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Tony Pearce, Reading

    This type of accident can be dangerous. A similar rail accident occurred on 30 July 1984 to the west of Polmont, near Falkirk in Scotland, when a westbound express train travelling from Edinburgh to Glasgow struck a cow which had got onto the track through a damaged fence near Polmont railway station. The collision caused all six carriages and the locomotive of the train to derail, killing 13 people and injuring 61 others.

  • Long Branch Mike, Manchester

    Certainly Southeastern has a backup phone line available for driver communications should the radio be knocked out? Even a passenger calling 999 to report the derailment should quickly alert train ops of the problem.