Published 25th May 2012
OXFORDSHIRE - Wednesday 9th May will widely be remembered as a particularly black day for the rail network of Britain after two major incidents bought parts of the network to a standstill.
The first of these incidents was a Freightliner HeavyHaul train working from Aberdeen to Oxwellmains in Southern Scotland which became derailed between Stonehaven and Aberdeen. The working was running as 6B32, the 16:52 Aberdeen Craiginches to Oxwellmains, being hauled by locomotive No. 66610.
Various trains were cancelled for the rest of the day, with some being terminated at Stonehaven, Arbroath or Dundee. This was because the line was blocked by a “PCA” type wagon on its side, with three more upright but off the rails. The Delays and cancellations continued into Thursday 10th, when the line was fully cleared at about 23:00. The Network Rail Crane for derailed trains attended from Bescot behind locomotive No. 66126.
The second major incident of the day involved Cross Country “Voyager” 221136 which struck around 14 cows in the Tackley area whilst travelling at high speed. The train was operating as 1M58, the 14:45 Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly Cross Country service.
The line between Oxford and Aynho Junction was blocked, with the Down line being occupied by the Class 221, and the Up line being obstructed by “dead or dying cows”.
First Great Western’s nearest Class 165 unit was at Banbury, and was sent to assist by proving the route between Banbury and Oxford. The line was cleared at around 18:00, allowing trains to continue. The following unit from Bournemouth arrived at Oxford to take passengers forward, after the affected unit suffered substantial front end damage, including the coupler and windscreen.