Southeastern train derailed after hitting cows

Train derailed after colliding with cows.

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  1. David Johns (@DavidJohns_itv)

Recovery efforts begin for stricken train

A train operator has come under fire after two carriages derailed - an hour after it was warned a herd of cows had got onto the line.

It happened at Godmersham, midway between Ashford International Station and Canterbury West, just after half past nine yesterday evening

No-one was injured and the line is likely to remain closed for several days. David Johns reports, speaking to passenger Vince Stevenson, eyewitness David Goodenough; the Managing Director of Southeastern, David Statham; and local resident Stephen Taylor.

Dramatic pictures of derailed train

The Southeastern train came off the track in Kent Credit: David Johns
Damage after the derailment Credit: David Johns
The train came off the track near Chilham Credit: David Johns

A train has been derailed after hitting cows that had strayed onto the line. Southeastern Trains said the incident happened between the villages of Wye and Chilham in Kent, involving a train travelling from Ashford to Canterbury.


Rail operator warned ahead of cow crash

65 passengers who were on board at the time were evacuated by emergency services, and no one was injured. Credit: @lordbonkers/Twitter

Warnings had been issued almost an hour before a train hit two cows and derailed, it has been revealed.

A driver reported seeing a cow on the line between Wye and Chilham in Kent at 8.50pm and it was investigated.

Trains between Ashford and Ramsgate via Canterbury West have been suspended today with replacement buses running.

Southeastern statement after train derailment

Southeastern has praised the driver after the derailment Credit: ITV

On Sunday evening a train travelling between Ashford and Canterbury West was involved in an incident near Chilham station where it collided with livestock that had strayed onto the railway line meaning the train became derailed.

Trains between Ashford and Ramsgate via Canterbury West have been suspended and replacement buses have been put on while work is done to remove the train from the track and to carry out structural checks. This is a lengthy process and involves using a special crane to lift the carriages from the line before examining the track. This is likely to continue throughout at least today and tomorrow.

“We would like to thank our driver who acted quickly after his train collided with the cows. He realised at this point his radio had stopped working so he jumped out of the cab and ran down the track to halt an approaching train. He was then able to contact the signaller through the radio of this train to switch off the power to the line.

“We can confirm no one was injured in this incident and all passengers on board were taken from the train to a nearby village hall where they were given refreshments and buses and taxis were arranged to take them home.

We would like to thank the local residents of the village of Godmersham who opened up the village hall for us so late at night and helped provide warm drinks for our passengers.

– Southeastern
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