Great Heck, not too far away from the little town of Selby, North Yorkshire, England.

In Feburary 2001, in this quite little village, a freight train heading either from or towards Eggbrough or Drax power station collided with a passenger train underneath a motorway bridge.

A man had fallen asleep at the wheel of a Land Rover, causing it to spin and fall off the bridge. The freight train then hit the Land Rover, which hit the passenger train.

I don't live too far away from Great Heck, so I went to see the wreckage. It was awful, two trains mangled with the shattered remains of a Land Rover in the middle. I have a friend who lives in Great Heck who heard the crash.

He said, "I heard a huge smash, and the screams of people for a few seconds. Then, everything went deathly quiet until the police and ambulances arrived. It took days to clear away all the wreckage and the line was closed, causing the power stations in the area to start running out of coal."

This incident left many families heartbroken, and it was one of the major nails in the coffin of Railtrack, the (ex)UK train regulatory commision.

Now, the trains arn't much better, but the Great Heck disaster taught us something. Never fall asleep at the wheel of a Land Rover on a motorway...

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