A preliminary report into a crash at a rail crossing in Cambridgeshire has found no evidence that a tractor driver attempted to request to cross the line before his trailer was hit by a freight train.
The incident happened at Kisby near March. Both the driver of the train and tractor were treated for minor injuries.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch report says that the train driver applied the emergency brake around 6 seconds before the collision occurred, but the train was still travelling at around 58 mph (93 km/h) when it struck the trailer being pulled by the tractor.
As a result of the collision, the trailer parted from the tractor and was then dragged along by the train. The leading axle of the locomotive and an unladen wagon in the middle of the train also derailed. The train ran derailed for around 780 metres before it came to a stop.
The locomotive suffered significant structural damage during the accident and level crossing and track equipment were also extensively damaged. Train services were disrupted on both lines for four days while the train was recovered and repairs were made to the track and signalling infrastructure.
The Kisby user worked crossing is fitted with a telephone and with user-operated powered (POGO) gates. These gates are not interlocked with the railway's signalling system. Users are directed by signs at the crossing to use the telephones to obtain permission from the signaller before opening the crossing gates and crossing the railway.
Investigators say they have been unable to find any evidence that a request to use the crossing was made by the driver of the tractor involved.