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Man nearly killed by Risborough steam train

Man nearly killed by Risborough steam train

Published by Charlotte Fisher at 2:59pm 9th September 2019. (Updated at 3:05pm 9th September 2019)

A man was nearly killed by the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway while they were running a Murder Mystery Evening at the weekend.

On Saturday evening (7th Sep), the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway (C&PRR) were running one of their after dark steam hauled dining Murder Mystery trains.

Under normal circumstances actors tell and act out the story but late in the evening in total darkness a real life death was narrowly averted.

An intoxicated man was walking a couple of miles along the railway track from Bledlow to their home in Chinnor.  

Luckily the crossing keeper at Wainhill spotted a moving light approaching him from the direction of Princes Risborough.

He quickly realised this had to be a trespasser on the line who could be hit by the train.

Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway
The steam train is running a similar evening at Halloween

The Crossing Keeper contacted the steam hauled dining train guard and instructed him to stop it at Bledlow Cricket Club while he walked down the line to challenge the trespasser.  

His observation of the situation and quick thinking almost certainly saved the man's life.

Unlike modern trains, the 1928 built Great Western Railway steam locomotive used on the line does not have powerful headlamps and it would have been almost impossible for the driver to have seen a man walking down the track with his back to the train.

The train was delayed by about half an hour while the trespasser was cleared from the railway track. 

Stan Hart, the C&PRR Health & Safety Director commented:

"This was a very foolish thing to do.  

"While we operate a heritage railway at much lower speed than the mainline, our locomotives can be just as deadly and they cannot stop as quickly as a car.  

"No member of the public should walk along a railway line.  

"It is dangerous and a criminal offence.  

"On this occasion, we do not intend taking action against the offender."

Chinnor Railway Halloween
Some of the team at the Halloween event last year

A C&PRR spokesman commented:

“A deliberately scary steamy night service will be operating just before Halloween on Saturday 26 October, but as we all know, railway ghosts are run through as they cannot be run over.

"One thing is certain, the steam crews will be extra vigilant on the lookout for human trespassers and ghoulish screaming beasts of the Chiltern Hills along the line.” 

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