On the 28th February 2001 a high speed passenger train and a coal train collided on the East Coast Main Line near Selby, Yorkshire, claiming the lives of 10 people.
This episode will delve into the reasons this accident took place, the investigation and the legacy it left behind…
The map is centred on the bridge over the East Coast Mainline where the initial collision occurred. If you pan it down you can follow the route of the derailed train past Plasmor yard. The field on the right just under Pollington Lane is where most of the Intercity 225 ended up, and to the north of the bridge you can see the gardens where the class 66 and it’s wagons ended up.
Hello, and welcome to Signals to Danger, a new podcast which will deal with some of the most devastating and significant disasters that have ever taken place on the UK rail network.
I’m Dan, I’m a rail professional in the real world, but during this podcast I’ll be the one taking you through these incidents. We’ll be using the official reports, news sources and other accounts from the time to understand what happened, how it was investigated and what impact it has had on the industry going forwards.
Signals to Danger deals with disaster and situations which have caused death. Something to bear in mind if you worry that this might be a subject that might upset or affect you.
Anyway, with that introduction out of the way, let’s get started!
As the sun began to rise, the devastation became truly apparent. All eleven vehicles of a high-speed passenger train were derailed, and scattered across an embankment, carriages tossed around and twisted like toys. On the line adjacent a coal train stood solemn; its locomotive laid on it’s side in a front garden next to the tracks.
Ten lives lost, eighty-two people injured, many of them seriously and with immeasurable damage to both the infrastructure and vehicles. The cause? Probably not what you’re expecting.
– Opening credits –
Hi, I’m Dan and welcome to Signals to Danger, Episode One. This is a podcast where we will look at UK rail disasters and try to understand how they happened, what could have prevented them and how they shaped the industry going forwards. I’m a railway professional in my day to day life, but for a long time I’ve found accident reports incredibly interesting. This podcast is an opportunity for me to share that interest with you all.
So here we are in our first episode, to set the scene, the year is 2001. It’s February and a lot has already happened, George W Bush has already been sworn-in as the 43rd president of the United States, Daft Punk has just released their second studio album and Wikipedia has just been launched.
Four months earlier the Hatfield accident had led to the deaths of 4 passengers on the East Coast Mainline, the very short explanation is that it was due to metal fatigue, but we’ll cover that in a later episode.
The findings of that investigation had led to a sweeping series of speed restrictions and track replacements which in turn led to a time of real difficulty for both the railway and the economy on a whole. The events of this episode take place on a network still repairing itself.
| | Music Sting Our story is set in an idyllic, small North Yorkshire village that you probably wouldn’t have heard of if today’s story hadn’t taken place. Great Heck.
The Journey of the train
One Foxtrot two three was a Great North Eastern Railways service from Newcastle to London King’s Cross station. Driven by driver John Weddle, it was booked to depart Newcastle at the early hour of 04:45 on the 28th of February 2001. An Intercity 225 high speed train, Foxtrot Two Three comprised a class 91 electric locomotive, number 91023, 9 Mark 4 passenger carriages and a driving van trailer.
The driving Van trailer, or DVT, looks to all intents and purposes like another locomotive. It has a streamlined cab at one end, just like the class 91, but instead of traction equipment the rest of the vehicle consists of storage space.
The 225 is designed to work high speed passenger services up and down the country, capable of operating at 140 miles an hour, but limited to 125 due to the constraints of the network.
Much like the HST before it, the cabs at both ends meant that intercity 225s can operate in a push-pull formation, they could run from one city to another and back again, without having to turn around at each end. They were normally arranged with the Class 91 facing north, pulling towards Scotland and pushing towards London.
On the 28th this was a southbound train, an early morning service timed to get businessmen into London in time for a morning meeting. As it left Newcastle just before 5am, the DVT was leading, followed by all 9 passenger carriages and pushed along by the locomotive as it joined the East Coast Main line.
This line leads from Scotland, all the way down the country to London, electrified all the way south it allows for fast and efficient passenger and freight services to carve their way up and down the country.
I should probably take a second now to explain something that might come up in these podcasts that might take a little getting used to if you’re not particularly railway-minded.
During these episodes, particularly if I’m quoting from reports, I may use the directions Up and Down. As simple as that sounds, it’s not always as intuitive as you might think. For example, on the East Coast Main Line, the direction Up must mean up the country towards Scotland yes? And Down the country to London?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple! In fact, it’s the exact opposite in this case.
Generally, UP actually means towards London, and down the opposite. It’s the way the railway differentiates between different lines on multiple tracked sections, they will be referred to as the up main and down main for example. Sometimes these names also refer to the use of the specific lines or the direction they’re headed, so you could have the Up fast and down fast, the up goods loop, the down Manchester and so on and so forth.
It certainly keeps you on your toes, as does some of the units of measurements! Some parts of the world use Miles, others use Kilometres. Have you ever heard of chains? The UK rail network refers to distances in terms of miles and chains, there are 80 chains in a mile, so if the report says that a bridge is 2 miles and 40 chains from Leeds, then it’s two and a half miles. You with me? Good!
So, housekeeping out of the way, let’s get back to the day of the accident.
Just after 6am our passenger train, one foxtrot two three departed York and started to speed up. By about 10 past the class 91 had got the trainset up to around line speed for this section, 125 miles an hour as it pushed on southbound.
Further south, on the Down line, away from London a coal train lumbered northbound. Six Golf Three Four, a Freightliner Heavy Haul service, consisted of a class 66 locomotive, number 66521, pulling sixteen H H A hopper wagons, each weighing around 100 tonnes fully laden. Which they were this morning. Driver Stephen Dunn, accompanied by an instructor, James Hill, was hauling the coal from the port at Immingham to the power station at Ferrybridge, just a few miles north of Great Heck.
With the passenger train barrelling south at between 120 and 125 miles an hour and the freight heading north at around 54, the distance between the two was rapidly shrinking.
Until the 28th February, Gary Hart was a fairly inconsequential character, unlikely to be recognised outside of his own social circles. Over the next few weeks and months, his name would become prominent in national media.
This recognition would start with a phone call which thrust him out of obscurity.
At 06:13 in the morning Gary made a 999 call. As he was connected through to the police he explained to the operator how he had been involved in a car accident. He told them that his car, a land rover which had been towing a trailer with another car on it, had ended up on a railway line.
As he described how he had come off the M62 motorway, the operator tried to narrow down his location. As they spoke, Mr Hart suddenly explained that there was a train coming. Suddenly, the emergency call is suddenly drowned out by the noise of a train passing as Gary Hart swears.
The 999 call recorded the moment one foxtrot two three collided with the land rover that had been driven by gary hart, at close to 125 miles an hour. Ripping the front end of the car off, the DVT leading the train dragged debris and wreckage along the track.
48 metres beyond the impact point, the leading bogie, the frame which holds the trains wheels, derailed to the right. With the trains brakes fully applied, the train ran in-line and upright, with only the lead bogie derailed. In this way the train began to slow, the speed dropping constantly.
Suddenly after around 500 metres in this configuration, the leading bogie of the DVT suddenly became airbourne and deflected further over to the right. The trailing bogie of the DVT also derailed. Again the train ran more or less parallel to the rails for around a further 100 metres.
If you try to picture this, imagine two train tracks, the left hand UP, towards London and the right DOWN, away. Our train is heading UP, and the leading vehicle of this train now sits at an angle, probably around 20 or so degrees to the right, so that the rear wheels are running off the rails, the left hand wheels between the two tracks, and the right hand wheels in the ballast to the side, but facing forwards. The leading wheels are both in the ballast between the two tracks, again facing forwards. The most important thing now, in this configuration, is where the front of the driving van trailer has ended up. It’s so far over to the right that it’s now conflicting with the tracks heading in the other direction, the rail terminology used in the report is that it was fouling the Down Main.
By this time, about 642 metres since the train impacted the car, the intercity 225 had slowed to around 88 miles an hour. Unfortunately it was at this point that it collided with the class 66 travelling in the opposite direction at around 54 miles an hour. This second collision utterly finished the job that Gary Hart’s land rover had started. The DVT, incredibly damaged by this second collision, and the 8 leading coaches of the London Bound train derailed and scattered down the embankment to the side of the tracks. The class 66 from the Northbound freight, and 8 of it’s wagons were also derailed, the locomotive ending it’s journey on its left hand side, both bogies missing, in a front garden adjacent to the tracks. In a matter of seconds, a closing speed of 142 miles an hour had turned to silent stillness, coal dust and diesel fumes hanging in the air in the pitch black of a winter’s morning before first light.
At 0615 in the morning, 2 minutes after Gary Hart’s call, numerous passengers on the train and residents of Great Heck started to make their own 999 calls. A little over 15 minutes later the emergency service began to arrive in force at 0633.
The first stage of the response to an incident like this is rescue and recovery.
The first effort must always be to preserve life and rescue those trapped.
Control of the incident initially was managed by Humberside Fire Service, they set up a casualty clearing station at a farm next to the tracks and ambulances operated from there, ferrying the wounded to hospitals in Leeds and othe close by towns and cities.
East Yorkshire emergency control contacted the armed forces and the Royal Air Force sent two Helicopters from nearby RAF Leconfield to accompany the West Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s own helicopter. This provided a quick form of transport for the most seriously injured to hospital.
Once all the recovery and rescue operations were completed, the death toll became clear.
In this accident 10 lives were lost. 4 of them were crew on the trains and the other 6 passengers. They were;
Chris Terry – A 30 year old father of one travelling to London on business. His mobile phone was found with 61 missed calls.
Ray Robson – the 43 year old conductor of the Great North Eastern Railway service, a past recipient of a safety award from the company for stopping a train as somebody tried to jump on it at a station.
Paul Taylor – the 42 year old father of two who was the chef on the GNER service.
Professer Steve Baldwin, a 39 year old psychology professor at the University of Teesside.
Driver John Weddle – The 47 year old GNER driver with twenty five years experience and two children at home.
Driver Stephen Dunn – The 39 year old driver of the freightliner service. From a village near Selby, he was only miles from home and left two sons behind.
Alan Ensor – a 44 year old engineer from York who left two sons of his own.
Barry Needham – a 40 year old freight logistics co-ordinator, who also worked on the railway.
Clive Vidgen – a 39 year old business manager from York.
Robert Shakespeare – a 43 year old IT manager from east Yorkshire who was survived by a wife and 4 children aged nine to seventeen.
Once the rescue and recovery stage was completed, the work of recovery and investigation began. Agency’s of all descriptions had flooded the fields beside the track as the morning preceeded.
The HSE, The Health and Safety Excutive, sent along Her Majesties Rail Inspectorate, also called HMRI. They were the forerunner to today’s Rail Accident Investigation Branch. They were joined by Railtrack, the company responsible for the infrastructure itself, British Transport Police and North Yorkshire Police.
There was quite a complex relationship between these different bodies, it’s probably worth me reading it from the HSE report to you;
“North Yorkshire Police and British Transport Police (BTP) to implement the work-related deaths protocol that HSE has with police forces and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). This protocol acknowledges that in the case of work-related death on the railway HSE and BTP both have different, but related, roles and responsibilities. North Yorkshire Police and BTP have responsibility to investigate the possibility of negligence, manslaughter (due to individual or corporate failures) in connection with any deaths, and also have a role in assisting the coroner. HSE is responsible for enforcement of relevant health and safety legislation. In accordance with the protocol, the Great Heck incident became a joint investigation, with HSE managing the technical issues, while North Yorkshire Police and BTP explored potential manslaughter issues”.
In short, the law at the time meant that if somebody was killed at work (which at least four people had been), then the police had an obligation to investigate if any criminality or negligence had caused this. The HSE on the other hand had to understand the causes and failings of any health and safety legislation. At Great Heck this allowed the various parties to work together well.
The investigation into this accident had to understand several points in order to explain how this incident had become one of the worst accidents of the privatised rail network.
1. How had a car ended up on the East Coast Main Line.
2. How did the collision with the car cause the DVT to derail into the path of the freight train?
3. Had the vehicles involved performed adequately in terms of their crashworthiness?
4. Had any failings in the operation of the railway caused this disaster?
As the investigation began, it became clear that number 4 was the easiest to answer. It was a simple no.
The report concluded that the signals in the area had been operating as required, each train was allowed to be where it was and was running with no conflicts to other traffic. While the first collision with the car had taken place in a part of the line controlled by York intergrated signalling centre (the precurser to todays Rail Operations Centre), by the time the second collision occurred, the train had travelled far enough that it was now in an area partly controlled by Doncaster Power Signal Box.
Damage caused to the signalling cables by the initial derailment had caused all of the signals in the area to default to danger, as designed. On top of this, all of the railway fencing was found to be in line with the current regulations, so that was ruled out as a contributing factor.
The freight train had been allowed to depart 20 minutes earlier than scheduled from Immingham to start it’s journey up to Ferrybridge. This was entirely normal practice and posed no additional risk, as the path existed for it and no signalling risks were introduced by this decision.
Both drivers were competent on their respective traction, which means they were qualified to drive the trains they were responsible for and both had reacted appropriately to the unfolding disaster.
Although it certainly won’t be the case in every episode we cover, all of the safety systems and methods of work the railway employs worked here at great heck.
Going through the accident chronologically, the investigators needed to understand how a vehicle had managed to leave a major motorway, bypass any safety barriers and fencing and end up on a major railway line.
The Highways Agency, now referred to as highways England, is the organisation responsible for maintaining and operating the UK’s major A roads and motorways. As part of the investigation they conducted assessments of the M62 and the road bridge which crossed the railway.
One of the first things they investigated was the condition of the road. Had Gary Hart lost control due to ice on the road? It was February and a sprinkling of snow can be seen in some of the videos and photographs of the aftermath.
Records showed that although a precautionary application of rock salt had been applied in the evening before, but due to rain falling throughout the night and the weather forecast, further gritting was halted in the early hours. When measurements were reviewed for the actual weather and temperature, it was ascertained that the motorway bridge was unlikely to have been affected by ice or snow. That explanation was off the table.
The next thing the highways agency needed to rule out is whether the accident was somehow caused by the design of the bridge itself. Was the protection fences and barriers provided to the railway faulted in their design?
The bridge which carried the motorway over the railway was sturdy, correctly designed and had barriers attached at either side which extended back along the carriageway for extra protection. The standard required a 30 metre fence, and at Great Heck the fence extended for 33.5 metres. Not only that, there was an additional 9 metres at each side where this fence sloped down before it was connected to a concrete terminal. The fences too were not to blame.
Finally the last part of the road traffic investigation needed to ascertain the route the land rover took from the road.
The front nearside wheel of Gary Hart’s vehicle hit the kerb 50 metres before the start of the fence. This is a full 92 metres before the bridge itself. 20 metres later his offside front wheel joined it. This meant that he left the road at an angle about 5 or 6 degrees off the direction of the carriageway.
After he was off the tarmac, it travelled down a 3 metre embankment, crashed through 17 metres of a fence separating fields, destroyed the railway boundary fence and ran down the cutting, coming to a rest on the tracks.
It was clear that no outside influence led to Gary Hart’s vehicle leaving the motorway that night. The fault for that lay with the person at the wheel.
In fact, as the criminal investigation continued, the facts that emerged about Gary Hart painted a picture of a bit of an unusual man.
He described himself as a “hunter gatherer”. A builder who travelled around 40,000 miles a year seeking out work. Separated from his wife, he claimed he could “go for 36 hours at a time without a break, he regularly skipped meals and stayed up playing computer games. In fact, in one interview with the police he described his life as being 1000 miles an hour.
8 days before the crash Gary met a woman online, they exchanged messages and phone calls at all hours of the day. In fact the night before the accident, they had spent a great deal of time speaking over the course of the night. In between days of driving from one side of the county for work, spending time with his family and wife, whom he was separated from and speaking to his sweetheart, Gary had not had a lot of time for sleep.
During his early police interviews he initially claimed he had enjoyed a lengthy three hours sleep prior to setting out on the morning of the 28th to drive to the other side of the Pennines. When he found out later on that police had spoken to his love interest he amended it down to 45 minutes.
45 minutes sleep prior to driving a 1 and a half tonne 4 by 4, towing a trailer loaded up with another car at night across the country.
It was deemed, after all of the investigation was complete, that Gary Hart had fallen asleep at the wheel of his car. He drifted over the rumble strip, a series of bumps at the side of the motorway designed people to wake people up, and stayed asleep. He drifted over the grass verge and down and embankment, across a field and through two fences before he ended up on the railway. It seemed as though the brakes hadn’t even been applied as the car went down the embankment.
All of this led to police eventually charging Gary Hart with 10 counts of causing death by dangerous driving. In terms of the really simple reason for why this accident occurred, a sleep deprived man nodded off at the wheel, and he did it in the worst possible place and while he didn’t become a statistic himself, 10 lives were lost as a result.
In terms of the investigation, one of the next things that needed to be worked out now that the cause of the accident was cleared up, is how the impact with a car led to the collision with the freight train.
The investigators managed to work out that the most likely first point of collision was between the drivers side front wing of the landrover and the left hand buffer of the DVT. The lighter bodywork, and radiator and pullies would have collapsed quickly until the heavy, solid engine block came into contact with the buffer.
To understand what physically caused the derailment there was extensive computer modelling done to try and virtually model it. It was eventually shown that when coupled with the impulse generated by the impact, an object greater than 10mm diameter passing under the right hand most likely caused the derailment.
After the leading bogie left the track the DVT ran upright and in line with the remainder of the train. This isn’t a happy accident, it’s part of the design of these vehicles. With the rest of the trains wheels on the track and with the emergency brakes in, the train began to slow down.
The final factor which made this accident so terrible was the location it took place in.
500 metres after the impact with the land rover there is a goods siding at Plasmor Yard. The yard is accessed by a set of points, a junction on the railway, which face northbound on the southbound line. The closure rail, the rail that would direct the left hand wheels of a northbound train through the junction, lay between the rails diagonally.
Which as I say it sounds like a bit of a mouthful, so to simplify it, as the derailed wheelset approached the sidings the left hand wheels, which were now running along the sleepers in between the two rails, they came across a diagonal piece of steel, running left to right.
As the left hand wheels of the leading bogie made contact with the closure rail they were thrust to the right. This was the mechanism which brought the two trains together.
The last real point of the investigation was to find out whether or not the design and crashworthiness of the vehicles involved had contributed to the severity of the accident.
At the point of collision between the two trains, the DVT, down on the ballast instead of the rails was sitting lower than the class 66. Because of this, the locomotive overrode the DVT and caused extensive damage to the DVT, ripping the cab clear and crushing the storage area further back. The bogies of both vehicles collided and the class 66 was tipped to the left, where it slid along the ground as wagons behind it started to derail.
The 6 and a half thousand litre fuel tank underneath the class 66 was ruptured by one of it’s bogies as part of the collision with the passenger train.
As the collision continued fuel was sprayed across many of the carriages and wagons, however luckily there was no fire.
The sudden deceleration of the DVT meant that the leading coach of the train started to override it from the rear as well. The DVT was almost unrecognisable following all of this.
Now if you want to learn a little more, and I would recommend it, you can go online and read the HSE report. It goes in to a lot of detail around the damage caused to each vehicle and the interactions they had with each other. I won’t quote it in that detail but I’ll briefly run through it.
As the collision continued each coach became more involved. The 1st passenger coach, coach M, was impacted by a portion of one of the class 66’s bogies, this ripped a hole in the side of the carriage.
The second coach, coach H ended up with its trailing end embedded in the side of coach E.
Coach G, the buffet car, had been bent around a vertical crease and a substantial portion of the roof had been flattened.
Coach F had been crushed in such a way that the floor met the roof at one end and reduced survival space substantially.
The intrusion of Coach H into coach E had removed about 8 seats worth of space, and a portion of the roof had ripped off.
Coach D saw a loss of survival space at one end due to the intrusion of an DVT bogie completely destroying a vestibule.
By Coach C the damage was less substantial. This carriage was still on the embankment and suffered a deformation of the floor, along with some other, lesser damage,
Coach B had remained upright on the trackbed, just underneath a road bridge, with a deep gouge along it’s right hand side.
Coach A had also remained upright with damage to the right hand side, some seats had been moved towards the aisle be the impact.
The class 91 locomotive only suffered some minor damage. Funnily enough, this was the same class 91 that had been involved in the Hatfield derailment 4 months earlier, where it had only received minor damage too.
While some minor points were raised around the couplings between vehicles on the intercity 225, the tables fitted to the carriages detached and some of the first class seats had broken, the overwhelming conclusion of the investigators was that the crashworthiness of the vehicles was adequate. This was especially prominent in the knowledge that the speed of the collision, 142 miles an hour was the highest speed collision in the UK at the time, and indeed still is. The sheer amounts of energy released in this collision would have made it impossible for these vehicles to come out of it unscathed.
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So normally at this point in the podcast I would go through some of the changes brought about following this accident, but there haven’t necessarily been any. This accident was brought about by a man driving his car recklessly. It wasn’t due to a failing in a safety system, signalling error, driver error. It wasn’t the result of skipped maintenance schedule or a poorly manufactured part.
Gary Hart did see his day in court. Through November and December of 2001 he stood trial on 10 counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
Jurors heard of how he had fallen asleep at the wheel after staying up all night talking to his sweetheart, Hart protested this, denying that he had fallen asleep and saying he’d heard a bang shortly before his car left the motorway.
The jurors weren’t convinced and on the 13th December Gary Hart was found guilty of all 10 counts. He was jailed for 5 years.
One of the more unusual factors about this whole affair is that technically, at the core of it, Great Heck is a road traffic accident. This is reflected in the fact that the person who paid for all this was Gary Hart’s car insurance. This is the reason that your car insurance policy in the UK has unlimited 3rd part cover. I managed to find several figures on line, but it would appear that his insurance, and indeed their insurers, have paid out around 30 million pounds as a result of the accident.
Since his release, Gary Hart has since offended victims by blaming “fate” for the accident. He said he believed in fate and that he was meant to be there that morning. He gave an interview after he was released saying he shouldn’t have been blamed for the deaths, again denying he had fallen asleep. The kicker, the line that really frustrated me personally, let alone the victims families was that he insisted that no deaths had occurred at the point the train hit his car. In his words;
“They all occurred 700 yards down the track which I feel other people should have been held accountable for, so in my own head I’ve dealt with it in that fashion.”
Understandably, this wasn’t well received by anybody. It may be the case that this is the only way his mind will allow him to live with the guilt of what happened, but I can’t help but think it was probably an opinion best kept to himself.
The terrible fact of Great Heck is that it is the result of a terrible sequence of coincidences. If Gary Hart had fallen asleep 10 yards further down the M62 he would have drifted into the barriers and been bounced back in to the carriageway.
If he had crashed 10 minutes earlier, a location could have been worked out and trains stopped.
If the turnout to Plasmor sidings hadn’t been exactly where it was the DVT would not have been deflected into the path of the Down line.
If the coal train hadn’t been allowed to depart early, it wouldn’t have been there to collide with, and the intercity 225 may well have remained upright.
And Finally, if the freight had been allowed to depart a few minutes earlier, he would have passed the land rover on the tracks and gotten an emergency message out, stopping or at least slowing the passenger train.
Timing was absolutely everything. Every component was where it needed to be and at the exact time that would combine and make this so severe.
It’s difficult to say, but nearly 20 years since this happened, if the same set of circumstances were thrown together in exactly the same way, would it happen again?
Nothing has particularly changed on this section of the line since then. The motorway fences were well within the standard. Class 66 locomotives still haul freight here, and, although they’re in the process of phasing them out, you can still jump on an intercity 225 and travel from the north down to London.
Across the UK rail network there are still plenty of places where a car can access the line and cause collisions. From Level crossings to country lanes which run along the tracks.
5 years after Selby, 20 miles North at the village of Copmanthorpe, 3 axles of a 100mph passenger train were derailed as a car drove out from the dead end of a lane, through a fence and out onto the East coast main line. While the driver of the car was killed, the train stayed upright and was brought safely to a stop.
While the result of this was far less severe than Great Heck, throw in a set of points and another train heading in the opposite direction? It’s worth thinking about.
The last thing I want to mention before I bring this episode to a close is memorials. Pretty much everybody who lost their lives at Great Heck left behind family and friends to mourn.
A plaque was unveiled to the three GNER traincrew at Newcastle Central Stations where they were all based, this is placed a little closer to home for their families and colleagues.
During the investigation and repair phases of the incident, Railtrack staff grew quite a relationship with the villagers, and a team of volunteers helped to repaint the parish council’s village hall in return for their patience.
A memorial garden was also created, overlooking the embankment and field where the train came to rest. A simple but beautiful garden, consisting of trees, ferns and flowers, designed to blend into its surroundings with a plaque set into a stone and somewhere to sit for reflection. A local designer was selected to create the garden and he was supported by ideas from the village.
I have been to this garden, in fact it’s only around half an hour from where I live. Sat there and thought on the scenes 20 years ago. As a place of reflection, I feel it does its job very well. And when a train speeds past at 125 miles an hour, it’s very easy to imagine the events of a cold February morning.
___ Closing credits ___
Thank you for listening to todays podcast, I hope you enjoyed it.
The sources I used where the Health and Safety Executive’s report
“The track obstruction by a road vehicle and subsequent train collisions at Great Heck 28 February 2001” first published in 2002.
I also used articles from the Irish times, the Independent, the Guardian, the BBC and The Newcastle Chronicle.
Our opening credits and music throughout is an excerpt from Light Goes Away by Doug Maxwell, and our closing credits were Passed, by Riot.
If this has peaked your interest I would recommend reading the report, they go into more details than I could ever hope to recount on a podcast, and the diagrams and photographs really hep to illustrate the incident.
Once again, thank you, and I’ll see you next time.