Passenger describes “shock and upset” of Roudham rail crash

Emergency and investigation teams at Roudham after a train hit a tractor on a level crossing and the

Emergency and investigation teams at Roudham after a train hit a tractor on a level crossing and the passengers were led to safety down he tracks.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A woman has described the confusion and shock of fellow passengers who were on a train which collided with a tractor in Roudham.

Sarah Drake, 29, was half an hour into her journey from Norwich to London yesterday, at around 12.30pm, when she heard what she described as a 'big bang'.

'We heard this loud noise and then the train just started to judder, almost like it was going from side to side.

'It was like the train was out of control and we knew we'd hit something.

'There was a feeling like we were going to come off the tracks and it's a miracle we didn't,' she said.


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Miss Drake, from London, already had her shoulder in a sling having broken it in a climbing incident two weeks ago.

She was travelling in the second carriage with her girlfriend and two friends, and said other passengers were shaken by the incident.

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'We were opposite a window which smashed and showered people with bits of glass.

'Lots of people were in shock, and a girl in the carriage near us was having a panic attack, while others were very upset.

'The staff and emergency services were really good though, and the communication was excellent,' she said.

She added that she had also spoken to the train driver, who appeared to have cut his hand. He was later taken to hospital.

'He had his hand wrapped in a green scarf and said he was fine.

'He was making sure people were okay,' she said.

Yesterday's incident is currently being investigated by British Transport Police and the Rail Investigation Branch.

Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North and co-chair of the Great Eastern Mainline Rail Taskforce, commented today on the incident, and another incident in which a person was killed at a level crossing in Cringleford.

She said: ''It is very concerning to have two accidents in two days, one of them fatal today near Norwich.

'My thoughts and sympathies go out to all who've been tragically involved, including the staff and emergency services.

'I will be speaking urgently to Greater Anglia and Network Rail to see what lessons can be drawn immediately and in the long term for better safety on our railway in Norfolk, whilst we go about securing the improvements to service that we've been campaigning for over many years.'

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