Investigation after near miss at Farnborough North level crossing

An investigation's been launched after a near miss at a level crossing in Hampshire.

The 07:02am Great Western service from Gatwick Airport to Reading was approaching Farnborough North station at 70mph when the driver saw a large group of people using the footpath to cross the tracks.

He was forced to emergency break suddenly and sound the horn but the group didn't clear the crossing until five seconds before the train passed over it.

No-one was hurt in the incident, but the Rail Accident investigation Branch will look at why the arrival of the train wasn't shown on the passenger information screens installed on the platforms.

The footpath crossing at the station is fitted with gates and miniature stop lights which show a red aspect to pedestrians when trains are approaching, and the crossing shouldn't be used with this red aspect showing.

The gates at the crossing are also fitted with magnetic locks, which are operated by a level crossing attendant between 05:30 and 00:30 hrs.

The locks are intended to prevent an already closed gate from being opened by users and are activated when a red aspect is being displayed on the miniature stop lights.

The investigation will also look at how the crossing works and the role of the level crossing attendant, as well as the history of the crossing and any underlying management factors.