Steam Crew Stage Lineside Rescue

Steam Crew Stage Lineside Rescue

11 Aug 2010

The crew of a steam train helped speed an injured cyclist to hospital after he crashed on a line side track.

The remote path is inaccessible to ambulances and has nowhere nearby suitable to land an air ambulance. The cyclist, Mike Mesham, 43, was thought to have sustained head and spinal injuries and was evacuated by steam train after paramedics rushed to the scene at the Avon Valley Railway. 

Ken Hill, the driver of a Chrzanow 0-6-0T 4015 - Karel, spotted the cyclist lying motionless on the path that runs beside the railway. Mr Hill promptly alerted the crew and called the railway's control centre at Bitton.

Says David Cole who was duty manager that day, ‘I drove the paramedics down the track to the cyclist and they immobilised him on a stretcher. However there was no suitable place to land a helicopter and they could not get their ambulance down there.'

With fireman David Skelley, guard John Lanchester and the responsible officer, Ken Goodway lending assistance the patient was placed gently in the luggage van of the train - composed of Mark I stock. The train then sped off to Bitton where the patient was rushed to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Says paramedic, Andy Osmond, ‘We would like to thank the Avon Valley Railway staff for their assistance. Their help meant the patient could be transferred safely from a difficult location. I've never been on a steam train, so it was quite an interesting experience.'

The Avon Valley Railway operates three miles of track south of Bristol on what was the Midland Railway's Mangotsfield and Bath branch line. Mr Mesham sustained a broken arm and later thanked paramedics and staff at the Avon Valley Railway.

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