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Couple escape unhurt from rail crash

PUBLISHED: 05:50 29 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

AN ELDERLY couple escaped unhurt when their car was involved in a crash with a slow-moving train on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line.

The 12 passengers on board yesterday's 9.

AN ELDERLY couple escaped unhurt when their car was involved in a crash with a slow-moving train on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line.

The 12 passengers on board yesterday's 9.15am train were also uninjured in the accident which happened on an unmanned level crossing 100 yards outside Woodbridge railway station on the line north to Melton.

The couple's car was badly damaged and the train was taken to Ipswich to be checked for any necessary repairs. Train services were replaced by buses until the line reopened at lunchtime after being inspected by engineers from Network Rail.

The two-coach train had just left the railway station and was only travelling at 10mph when the accident happened at Haywoods Crossing on Tide Mill Way which leads to the Tide Mill.

Peter Hill, 82, of Melton Park, Woodbridge, was taking his wife Margaret, 81, in a silver Seat Arosa car to the art club close to the Tide Mill.

He said: "I was heading towards the Tide Mill with my wife. I didn't see or hear anything, the next thing I knew there was a big bang and the car skidded across the track.

"The sun was bright and I didn't see any lights on the signal. I have used this crossing a hundred times before and it's the first accident I have ever had in my life. Fortunately neither myself or my wife were injured, but we were both very shaken."

Kerry Howard, a spokeswoman for Anglia Railways, said an investigation would be carried out to ensure the crossing signals were working correctly.

The passengers had to stay on the train for about 40 minutes after the accident at 9.40am. Among them was 39-year-old Steve Owen, of Bigsby's Corner, Benhall, near Saxmundham, who was also involved in the crash at Blaxhall on April 15 when a lorry collided with a train carrying 56 passengers.

Mr Owen is a night watchman at the Salvation Army hostel in Ipswich and he had finished his shift and was going home to change before taking up his duties at Deben swimming pool where he is a lifeguard.

Mr Owen said: "The train had just left Woodbridge station and there was a slight bump and it seemed nothing major. I then realised what had happened.

"I am not happy. This is real bad luck. It's the second time something like this has happened to me – I was on the train which crashed in Blaxhall last year.

Mr Owen said he wanted to claim for compensation because he would not be able to get to work in time yesterday. Passengers were taken by taxi to their destination.

The line between Melton and south of Woodbridge has several unmanned crossings and there have been various accidents over the last 10 years. They have flashing lights and sirens to alert motorists and pedestrians that a train is coming.

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