Work to replace Ufton Nervet level crossing starts
Survivors of 2004 rail tragedy speak of their "relief"
SURVIVORS of the 2004 Ufton Nervet rail tragedy have spoken of their relief after work to replace the ‘notorious’ level crossing with a bridge officially started on Monday.
Seven people died and more than 120 were injured when a train hit a car which had been deliberately parked on the crossing and derailed almost 12 years ago.
Since the tragedy on November 6, 2004, a further four people have died at the crossing, taking the number of fatalities to 11 in the past 11 years.
On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the fatal incident, Network Rail confirmed it had found the £8m it needed to build the bridge and this week, the first shovel was put into the ground to signal the start of the project.
Jane Hawker, from Newbury, was in Coach D of the 17.35 high-speed First Great Western Service from Paddington to Plymouth when tragedy struck.
Asked what the start of the bridge work meant to her, Mrs Hawker said: “It means everything. It is what we hoped would happen for all this time."
Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, described it as a "really important day".
According to Network Rail, around 150 trains, including stopping services, through trains and freight trains, pass through Ufton Nervet every day.