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Iron Ore Wagons off at Hungerford Station - 10.11.1971

Photographer Richard Green tells the story:

Early in the morning of 10 November 1971, one of the wagons of a train carrying iron ore from Westbury to Theale developed a "hot box", a faulty wheel bearing. This was not noticed, and eventually the bearing seized and caused the wagon to derail as it approached Hungerford station. This derailed more wagons, damaging the track as the train dragged them along, until the train reached the points at the west end of the station and the wagons left the track completely and piled up. Although several houses alongside the line were struck by flying iron ore and the signal box was partly demolished, no-one was hurt.

p.s. Richard related, on Geograph, that the wagons were carrying 'ballast', however Chris Capewell has advised that it was iron ore and was in revenue wagons 'borrowed' by the engineers - this being before slots to prevent overloading were put in wagons transferred to the engineers.