Investigation after train track drama which saw car 'dragged along' at Redcar crossing

An investigation has been launched after a car was "dragged along by a train" following a dramatic crash.

The two-vehicle smash took place on May 1, when a Northern passenger train traveling between Saltburn and Nunthorpe struck a car. The incident took place at around 9.25am and left the car driver with injuries.

An investigation has now been launched by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch Government agency which will seek to identify the sequence of events that led to the incident.

Redcar level crossing is fitted with road traffic light signals and barriers on both sides of the railway. The barriers, when fully extended, cross the whole width of the road. The signaller in this case had not closed the level crossing to road traffic before the train arrived.

At the time of the incident, a large cordon was erected around the crossing at Redcar Central station. The train had nine customers on board and there were no reported injuries to the passengers and staff.

Teesside Live previously reported emergency services flooded West Dyke Road, with pictures showing the large-scale 999 response as police officers - from both British Transport Police and Cleveland Police - used drones to probe the scene.

Fire service tape covered both sides of the train line, with police also cordoning off parts of the Redcar Central station. The grey Suzuki involved in the crash was left with a cracked windscreen - with witnesses believing that the railing prevented the car from being "dragged any further" down the track.

One bystander saw the incident unfold, saying: "What I can gather is that nothing happened. There were no lights, not as far as I can remember. No lights, no alarms. They went along the crossing as normal and a train came and hit them. It was about 9.30am. I heard a crash and ran to the door and saw the car being dragged along by the train. It made me jump a bit, it was loud."

According to the investigation notice, the crash took place at 23 mph (37 km/h) and before the collision occurred, the train driver had been authorised by the signaller to pass a signal which was showing a red (danger) aspect. The signal involved provided protection to two level crossings, including Redcar.

The investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events that led to the accident. It will also consider:

  • the actions of the signaller and the train driver involved and anything which may have influenced them

  • the management of the staff involved in the accident, including their training and competence

  • engineered safeguards within the signalling and level crossing control system

  • any underlying management factors.

The findings will be published, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of the investigation.