Mendip hoppers damaged in East Somerset incident


A derailment at Witham Friary required the deployment of two cranes, including
the rare use of a Kirow KRC1200UK in a breakdown role.

By Gareth Bayer

THE 7Z15/17.05 Merehead to Acton loaded Mendip Rail aggregates working derailed at East Somerset Junction (Witham Friary) on March 20, requiring an intensive five-day effort to recover three HOA and three IIA wagons and then return the damaged track to serviceable condition.

This was the same location as a similar incident on November 10, 2008, involving Nos. 59202 and 59204.

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The train, this time powered by
No. 59001, was comprised of 38 VTG Rail UK HOAs, NACCO Rail IIAs and ex-Foster Yeoman JHAs.

The derailed hoppers, which included Nos. 81 70 6957 074-2, 37 70 6955 115-0 and 37 70 6955 122-6, were the 24th-29th vehicles in the train.

The site was immediately quarantined awaiting the arrival of the RAIB. The following day the lead 21 wagons were removed to Westbury by No. 59001.

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