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Train Accident, Wansford

Volume 477: debated on Monday 17 July 1950

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asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the 8.10 p.m. train from Peterborough East, on Saturday, 1st July, 1950, crashed through the level crossing gates across the Great North Road at Wansford, when all signals were against the train; and what steps will be taken to avoid such accidents on this and similar level crossings in future.

This accident was of a very unusual type, and was due to the bursting of a gauge glass, which filled the cab of the locomotive with steam, and momentarily distracted the attention of the driver.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it was only by a merciful act of Providence that a major calamity did not occur on this occasion, as there was a great deal of traffic on the road, including a number of motor coaches? Will he try his utmost to ensure that no such thing as this ever happens again?

I should have thought that the hon. Member had had sufficient experience of affairs in the world to have known that no precaution can prevent an accident of this type occurring.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that when these rare accidents occur, the driver and the fireman are generally momentarily blinded because of the flying glass and steam?