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Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway train derails

By Bess Browning

Passengers were injured when a train derailed after crashing into a tractor.

Police, paramedics and fire crews are at the scene in Dymchurch where the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch light railway has hit a tractor at a crossing and come off the tracks.

Fire crews dealt with the locomotive's boiler which was "at risk of exploding" and eye-witness Sandra Leverick, of Tudor Avenue, says she saw the train driver leap from the carriage and take others to safety after it collapsed onto its side.

Emergency services are at the scene.

Emergency services are at the scene.

Five people, including the steam train driver, have been treated at the scene by paramedics for minor injuries and the rest of the approximately 50 passengers have been checked over as a precaution.

Sandra told KentOnline this afternoon: "I could hear the whistle going and that is quite unusual so I walked into my garden to see what was going on.

"There is an unmanned crossing which I have seen the tractor using regularly today but the tractor wasn't moving and the train was coming.

"They carried on blowing the whistle and then suddenly the front engine part of the train was off the tracks.

"The driver was amazing. I know they are all volunteers and he leapt about four to five feet out of the train and was then helping people from the first carriage which was leaning on to the ground.

"Straight away I rang the emergency services and they are still here now.

A train has derailed in Dymchurch.

A train has derailed in Dymchurch.

"It is amazing that nobody has been injured."

Fire crews set about making the scene safe including securing the locomotive's boiler, which was thought to be at risk of exploding and police arranged road closures and transport for stranded passengers.

The remaining 12 carriages were unaffected.

It is believed a coach has turned up to ferry the passengers away and the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch line is closed to all trains until the derailment can be resolved.

It is believed the train hit a tractor.

It is believed the train hit a tractor.

A police spokesman said: "Police were informed at 2.35pm on 10 September that a train on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway had collided with a tractor at a crossing in Dymchurch.

"No serious injuries have been reported."

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway is one of the smallest public railways in the world.

It is not the first time there has been an accident on this railway line.

In 2003, a train driver was killed when a steam locomotive and a car crashed on a crossing near Dymchurch.

The train had derailed after it struck the vehicle. 

Just two years later, train driver Suzanne Martin, 43, was also killed when the locomotive hit a car on a crossing near Dungeness.

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