Level crossings safe, say rail officials

Railway officials have insisted that unmanned level crossings across farmland are safe, despite the death of a farm worker on the Cambs/Norfolk border.

David Muffett was killed last month when his tractor was hit by a train at Black Horse Drove, between Downham Market and Littleport.

He had been trying to drive over the track with a trailer when the accident happened.

The collision took place shortly after noon on a stretch of single track.

The train involved was travelling at 90mph at the time of the accident.

It remained on the rails but the tractor was left in a mangled heap.

The tragedy – at a User Worker Crossing equipped with warning lights, an audible alarm and barriers to protect users – followed a similar accident in August when a tractor was hit near March, Cambridgeshire.

A spokesman for Network Rail insisted: “Obviously there are a lot of these sorts of crossings in rural areas and they are safe if used correctly.

We are doing everything we can to improve them, including new signage.”