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The Ufton Nervet crash

The Ufton Nervet rail crash was a train crash between a train and car near Ufton Nervet, Berkshire, England in 2004. Seven people, including the drivers of both the train and the car, were killed.

On 6 November 2004 at 18:12 GMT, the First Great Western 17:35 service from London Paddington to Plymouth, an InterCity 125 (HST) led by a Class 43 power car (43019) collided with a stationary automobile at an automatic level crossing close to the rural West Berkshire village of Ufton Nervet.

The inquest concluded that the crash was caused by Brian Drysdale, a chef at the nearby Wokefield Park Hotel, committing suicide by parking his car on the crossing.

The rear of the 220 m (720 ft) long InterCity 125 train came to rest about 100 m (110 yd) beyond the crossing with all eight coaches derailed.

Six people were killed in the crash: the car’s driver, the driver of the train, and four of its passengers. A fifth passenger died in hospital. About 200 people were on board at the time of the incident (official estimates are around 180–200).

About half of these were injured, 12 of them seriously. 11 people were cut free from the wreckage. The high structural integrity of the Mark 3 coaches prevented a much higher death toll, plus the fact that the more lightly loaded first class coaches were at the leading end of the train.

The crash, investigation and necessary repairs blocked the main railway route between London and the West Country until the morning of 16 November, subsequently operating under temporary speed restrictions to allow the bedding in of ballast. In the meantime InterCity trains operated via Swindon and Westbury and local services were replaced by rail and bus shuttles.

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