AN ARTICULATED lorry plunged on to a railway line in South Wales last Friday after colliding with an army Land Rover.
The accident was the latest in a series of incidents where vehicles have strayed onto track, the worst being last year's Selby rail crash in which 10 people died.
No barriers separate the busy A40 dual carriageway from the line between Newport to the Midlands.
This week's accident occurred near Great Hardwick, south of Abergavenny where the road runs parallel to the line for approximately 3km.
Only a grass verge approximately 5m wide separates the road from the shallow embankment leading to the line, on a section of the A40 with a 70mph speed limit.
The front of the jack knifed lorry ploughed into the track pushing it around 300mm out of line and forcing it up by 150mm.
It also damaged 15 sleepers.
A freight train travelling on the adjacent line passed the scene of the accident, which happened at around 13.25 on January 18, at slow speed, having been warned of the crash by controllers. After the lorry was moved, workers from rail maintenance contractor GTRM carried out repairs to the track which was reopened by 22.00.
The accident again brings in to focus the issue of what barrier protection should be provided to prevent such accidents.
See feature page 14