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Investigation after two 'dangerous' near misses on Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

An investigation is underway following two ‘dangerous’ incidents on a popular tourist railway.

The first incident, described as a ‘near-miss’, saw two Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RH&DR) trains leave the New Romney and Romney Sands stations at the same time and travel towards each other.

The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway Picture: Paul Amos
The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway Picture: Paul Amos

Upon realising the mistake, an alert was put out over the radio to warn the second driver of the ‘potential danger’ and the train was stopped.

A caller to KentOnline's sister paper Kentish Express said passengers were on board at the time when the "two trains nearly crashed into one another".

This incident took place on Wednesday, August 28.

In another separate incident a train derailed at Hythe station, causing damage to the track.

This week the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) confirmed it is aware of both incidents.

A miniature steam train from the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. Library image
A miniature steam train from the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. Library image

And bosses behind the beloved light railway say a full investigation is taking place.

Danny Martin, general manager of the historic attraction, said “immediate actions” have now been taken to ensure there are no repeat incidents on the railway.

He also confirmed that no one was injured during the two events.

Mr Martin said: “The two incidents you described did occur and both are under the full RH&DR investigation procedures.

“I anticipate they will be shown to have very different causes and already immediate actions have been taken to make any repeat very unlikely but I am sure there will be other changes to our systems and procedures to go further.

“On the two trains departing towards each other the trains did not nearly crash into each other and our cab radio system was used to alert the second driver to the potential danger and he stopped extremely promptly.

“However we would wish to ensure even that situation can not and does not occur.

“There were no injuries in either incident

“While the formal investigation is on-going I can not make any further comment but I can assure you that considerable company resources are being applied to a very comprehensive review of all the factors.”

A spokesman for the Rail Accident Investigation Branch said: “The RAIB is aware of the incident and is making initial enquires.

“The RAIB has looked at an incident earlier this year on the same railway.

“These two incidents are not linked.”

The RH&DR, which opened in 1927, runs along 13.5 miles of track from Hythe to Dungeness and has five stations in-between.

The one-third full size steam and diesel locomotives attracts visitors from all over the world, earning the attraction a 4.5/5 rating on Tripadvsior.

Read more: All the latest news from Romney Marsh

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