Passengers escape unhurt as train derails

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The Independent Online

About 150 commuters escaped unhurt tonight after a rush-hour train derailed.

About 150 commuters escaped unhurt tonight after a rush-hour train derailed.

The 16.57 Birmingham to Manchester Piccadilly train was travelling at low speed when it came off the track an hour into its journey.

British Transport Police said the accident happened just south of Stafford station at about 6pm.

They said two wheels of the front two coaches of the Virgin Cross Country train derailed, but all its coaches had remained upright.

Railtrack has started a investigation.

A spokesman added: "It was the 16.57 train from Birmingham New Street, due to arrive in Manchester Piccadilly at 18.42.

"It was a very low speed derailment, at about 15mph, and initial reports are that the front two wheels of the two leading coaches came off the rails."

A spokesman for Virgin Trains said passengers had been evacuated in line with laid down procedures.

He said: "I understand that the locomotive and the front two coaches have been derailed but remained upright.

"We are aware of no serious injuries to customers or to staff. An investigation is now under way," he said.

The derailment happened when the train was travelling at around 15mph, he added.

A Staffordshire police spokesman said: "At approximately 6pm this evening, we had a slow-speed train derailment at Stafford rail station.

"It was a passenger train with approximately 150 people on board. At this stage it is believed there are no injuries."

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