Rail drama in wall crash

Train derailment after a landslip caused a wall to collapse from Dryclough Lane and rocks to fell onto the tracks at  Salterhebble, Halifax.'The train was the first of the day Northern Rail service from Manchester to Leeds with 10 passengers on board
Train derailment after a landslip caused a wall to collapse from Dryclough Lane and rocks to fell onto the tracks at Salterhebble, Halifax.'The train was the first of the day Northern Rail service from Manchester to Leeds with 10 passengers on board
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A HALIFAX-BOUND train was derailed after torrential rain sent a huge wall crashing down on to the track.

Passengers on the 5.55am service from Hebden Bridge told of the “large bang” and shaking after the train smashed into the debris just after Bankhouse Tunnel, near Dudwell Lane, off Salterhebble.

All but one wheel left the tracks but the two-carriage train remained upright and no one was hurt.

The Northern Rail service was carrying eight passengers and two crew.

A 20-ft section of wall was brought down by Friday night’s heavy rain. The masonry tumbled more than 40 feet down the embankment, landing on the tracks. Pass-enger Gary Freeth, 40, was on his way to work from his home in Mytholmroyd.

He said: “All of a sudden there was a bang. The next thing we knew the driver put the brakes on – full-on – and that threw everyone forward.

“I put my hands on the rail in front of me but the train was just shaking.

“All the lights started flickering and the train started to tilt. It was like a film,” he said.

“It felt a lot longer than it was but then we came to a stop.”

The driver told passengers he slammed his brakes on as he left the tunnel and saw large chunks of debris c0me into view.

Mr Freeth, a textile worker, said a step was created between the two carriages where the train had come off the tracks.

“It was pretty horrible,” he said.

Engineers were called to the site and arrived around 7.30am.

The passengers and crew all moved into one carriage to wait for help.

They were on board for a total of three and a half hours.

“On any other service, a bit later, on it might have been bigger, but everyone was very calm,” said Mr Freeth.

Dudwell Lane and part of Free School Lane remained closed while engineers assessed both the train and the wall. Dudwell Lane remained closed yesterday.

Bus services were put in place between Hebden Bridge and Halifax. Network Rail said their engineers would remain at the site to assess damage to the train and the track.

Northern Rail said services were being diverted through Brighouse. A spokeswoman said because of the location of the derailment, they had been unable to get passengers off and on to another train. But they were all able to continue their journey by around 9am.

The debris was removed and the train was cleared for services to run again late on Sunday afternoon.

Services were expected to return to normal for today’s morning commuters.