asked the Secretary of State for War why Service railway trains have crashed through the level crossing gates across the public highway at Arncott Depot, near Bicester, four times in the last few months; what is wrong with the signalling system; what is the total cost of the damage; whether any people have been injured or killed; and what steps have been taken to stop this recurring.
I understand that there have been three accidents in the last six months at the five road crossings in this depot. In one case a train hit a gate that had not been properly closed and damage to the extent of £2 was caused. In the second incident an engine and wagon hit a Utility truck which ignored a signal at the crossing and was damaged beyond repair: the cost was £167. One officer and one other rank in the truck were slightly injured. In the third accident some wagons got out of control during shunting operations and hit the crossing gates, damaging them to the extent of £2. The rule regarding unprotected crossings is that the engine must stop dead unless signalled over the road by an authorised person. Gates, however, are now installed at four of the crossings and are being hung at the fifth.