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Line of enquiry


What disappoints me about the reporting of the incident at Ufton Nervet Level Crossing (NCE 11 November) is the media speculation over how level crossings in general can be made 'safe', despite the strong early indications that the incident was probably the result of a deliberate act.

It might be more pertinent to ask how half a tonne of car can apparently derail several hundreds of tonnes of train so effectively, and to establish the extent to which the nearby points contributed to the dire consequences.

In former times, locomotives used to have so-called cow pushers fitted at the front end, to deflect (or break up) objects lying on the track. Would this have helped at Ufton Nervet?

Bob Pritchard, Lovedale Crescent, Edinburgh, EH14 7DP

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