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Derry - Coleraine Train stops for plane!

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Very rare event on Friday morning as the Derry train I was on came to a halt just before it approached the rear of Derry City airport. The driver announced that there was an incoming plane due any moment. Moments later a single private plane came in from the Donegal direction and skimmed just above the lines to land inside the airport perimeter. Obviously NIR were taking no chances as it was quite blustery and the small plane was quite low. One regular passenger said he never seen anything like this happen before.

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That's remarkable.  I wonder, does the airport usually work its take offs and landings round the timetable of passing trains to avoid such incidents occurring more often. Perhaps the light aircraft was suffering difficulties and was given priority. There must be someone out there with mobile phone footage of this. 

 

Paul

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There must have been a reason for giving the aircraft priority, as Air Traffic Control work in conjunction with NIR to ensure there are no trains due before giving permission to land.

Ballykelly RAF airfield, just a few miles east of City of Derry Airport was in the same situation before it closed. The runway was lengthened during WW2, across the railway, and the railway thereafter crossed the runway on a level crossing controlled by semaphore signals on very short posts, which can still be seen today, albeit without the signal arms. Trains there had priority except in an emergency. I believe it was the only place in the world where a railway crossed an active runway. 

Ballykelly. Old somersault signal post on left of picture.

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Ballykelly. Runway crossing as it is today.

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City of Derry Airport runway threshold. The railway does not actually cross the airfield, it is outside the unfenced boundary, but the track is roughly paved in case an aircraft lands short of the runway.

Capture3.thumb.JPG.873a27d6f76d4d93288319c9e09903a7.JPG 

Edited by Dhu Varren
  • Informative 1

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Gisborne Airpost still has an operational level crossing controlled by miniature colour light signals. The line carries steam charter specials in connection with cruise ship visits. Air traffic normally has priority with the signals released by a tablet in the control tower http://www.amusingplanet.com/2013/08/gisborne-airport-runway-with-railway.html

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8 minutes ago, Dhu Varren said:

Hard to believe in this day and age (2006) with modern avionics, route training and especially a VFR approach, but it has happened more than once where airfields are in close proximity especially when RWY orientations are similar direction. It shouldn't happen though.

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I was on an RPSI steam train in 1970 which stopped on the runway for a photo opportunity. A military plane was nearby on the same runway, parked. It was in use then, and when necessary, trains were called upon to stop. I understand that particular runway is no longer used.

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There have been a few pilot tech log entries with a suitably wry response from the maintenance chaps, and the instance above reminds me of this 

"(Pilot) - Mouse in cockpit.
(Engineer) - Cat installed.":D

Full list if anyone's interested - http://www.b737.org.uk/techlogentries.htm

Edited by Glenderg
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