Dereham train crash bill could cost thousands of pounds

A collision between two locomotives at one of mid-Norfolk's major tourist attractions may have caused damage running into six figures, it is feared.

The collision between the 1940s steam loco, a Hawksworth Pannier tank engine, and a 1960s diesel engine happened at the Dereham station of the Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR) just after noon on Saturday.

MNR spokesman Leslie Dale this week confirmed that no one was injured when the crash occurred after the 11.30am steam train service had pulled in from Wymondham.

Three people were on the engine at the time: the driver, fireman and cleaner.

The accident had been referred to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, said Mr Dale.

He added: 'We are very aware of what went wrong and we are taking steps to make sure it does not happen again.

'Unfortunately, damage was done.

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'It was a most unusual and unexpected thing. Everybody is duly sorry it ever happened.'

Mr Dale said the three people on the steam engine were shocked by the experience and the damage could potentially cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to repair.

It is hoped the locomotive will be fixed by September.

Mr Dale stressed that the MNR Steam Gala weekend planned for Friday, July 13, until Sunday, July 15, would still go ahead and said the MNR preservation trust was looking for a replacement steam engine for this summer.

The Hawksworth Pannier tank was the only steam engine on the MNR heritage line.

It was built for British Railways after the second world war – pannier tank engines of this type were built for shunting and hauling local passenger and goods trains, including 14-coach trains to Paddington Station in London