Fishermen's Crossing

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Fishermen's Crossing looking south

Fishermen's Crossing, officially Coombys Farm Crossing, is located between Arley and Highley, immediately north of Borle Viaduct.[1]

The crossing allows road access to the nearby farm to the east of the line, now part of a small holiday park.[2]. Although identified as Coombys Farm Crossing on road signs, it is commonly referred to as Fishermen's Crossing, likely named for its use by fishermen to access the nearby River Severn.

The crossing is an occupation crossing,[1] ie one which connects two parts of an estate separated by the railway (unlike an accommodation crossing, an occupation crossing is not necessarily installed during construction of the railway or at the route developer's expense, nor may there have been an existing road or path at its location). The crossing appears to be relatively recent in comparison with the railway; the road leading to it is not present on the OS 1 inch map revised up to 1961 but is shown on the same map revised up to 1967.

A small foot crossing lies a short distance away towards Highley. This results in locomotives whistling twice in quick succession when passing the area.


New gates were installed at the crossing at the end of August 2002. SVRSevern Valley Railway News noted that "This was required purely to conform with regulations - the gates are quite useless, as they are kept permanently open by all concerned the entire time, as were the perfectly sound ones they replaced."[3]

Two years later in August 2004, the crossing was the scene of a collision between a "Steam School Special" hauled by Ivatt Class 2 46443 and a van which drove onto the crossing without stopping, the crossing gates having been left open by a previous user.[4] The van was carried some distance down the track, with the driver suffering injury[5] though fortunately not fatal. H.M. Railway Inspectorate found no fault with the locomotive/train braking or the signing of the crossing, and no blame for the collision was attached to the Railway.[6][7]

Ongoing concerns over safety at the crossing led to discussions with the then Office of Rail Regulation in 2013, following which Fishermen's Crossing became a full, open crossing. This involved the removal of the gates and the introduction of speed humps and signage, placing the onus on the crossing user to observe and use the crossing in accordance with that signage[8].

See also

Towards Kidderminster
List of infrastructure
Towards Bridgnorth


  1. 1.0 1.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 154
  2. Coombys Farm website
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 140
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 148, General Manager's Notes
  5. HSE's annual report on railway safety 2004 – ORR Retrieved 8 June 2015
  6. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 149, Boardroom Notes
  7. Van driver blamed for rail crash, BBC News Retrieved 8 June 2015
  8. SVRLive News archive Retrieved 5 July 2015