Latest Rail News


Southeastern rail services remain suspended after cow crash

Services between Ashford and Ramsgate via Canterbury West are likely to remain suspended today and tomorrow after a Southeastern train derailed upon colliding with cows yesterday (26 July).

The driver of the Class 375 Electrostar involved in the incident near Chilham station in Kent has been praised for averting a potentially more serious incident, having jumped out of his derailed cab and down the track to halt an approaching train. He then used the radio on that train to alert the signaller.

The train itself had to be removed from the track and is undergoing structural checks. Replacement buses have issued while the carriages and track are examined.

The leading front carriage became detached from the rail during the night-time collision and the carriage remained upright but leaning.

A spokesperson for the company said that Network Rail is on site today “investigating any damage that may have occurred to the infrastructure”.

He added: “Where possible, people should travel from Canterbury East where they can join a High Speed service at Faversham/Ashford at no extra cost. Passengers can also use tickets on reasonable London Underground routes to complete their journey.

“We would like to thank our driver who acted quickly after his train collided with the cows. He realised at this point his radio had stopped working so he jumped out of the cab and ran down the track to halt an approaching train. He was then able to contact the signaller through the radio of his train to switch off the power to the line.”

Southeastern’s managing director, David Statham, said the track, culverts and embankments had been damaged. Five cows are also reported to have been killed in the crash.

Mick Cash, general secretary of RMT, said: “This derailment in Kent due to cows on the track raises some serious questions about the maintenance of trackside fencing, and the impact of cuts on budgets, and the union will be following the investigation that is now underway very closely.”

Network Rail revealed it had received reports of stray cows at least an hour before the incident but service continued as normal. 

Poster tsr on the said: “I hope all crew and passengers recover mentally from this incident, but it is excellent news to hear there were no physical injuries. It gives me a lot of faith in the Electrostar design, too. That said, I'm sure it's quite possible that if this had been a busy peak-time service, I suppose the natural sheer rise in numbers in the derailed carriage could have led to a higher chance that somebody was injured. It also sounds like the crew were in control of the situation throughout – well done to them.”


Lutz   27/07/2015 at 21:36

When and why did the radio fail? Why was the driver of the train not aware that the radio was not operable before hand? If NR was aware an hour before hand that there were reports of animals on the line, why was teh driver not able to take adequate precautions?

Shaym   11/08/2015 at 12:46

The radio failed when the collision occured the radio was working as without a radio a service cannot run - the radio allow the train to be tracked If NR knew about it It does not mean the Driver was aware of it plus who know where those cows where at the time - no one - what about the farmer - how did not not ensure his fences were secured .. we could continue to blame the hole world like that isnt it the Driver did an excellent job for what I gathere here no one was injured what else do you want collisiosn happens all the time look at the road for example no on can predict the futur not even me

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