I think its fair to say that Dormansland leads a fairly quiet existence. Its station "Dormans" is quite unremarkable, being the last stop before East Grinstead on the line from Oxted. However, all that was to change on Friday 27th March 1987 when DEMU 205002, on the line near the station, became the front page headlines in Eddie Shahs newspaper "Today". A big thankyou to Jonathan Ryder for keeping a copy of the paper and scanning it for us to use. Thankyou Jonathan.
As the text in the newspaper may not be clear on some devices, i have transcribed the newspaper report. I have tried to enhance the photos but coming from a newspaper, they were never going to be good.
Nature verses "man made" machine....no contest.
This is the same unit that featured in the St Trinians' film for which Amy has completed an article.
Three people were seriously hurt when a falling tree speared a London bound train approaching Dormansland station near Lingfield in Surrey. Commuter Reginald Stear, 41, of Crawley Down was pinned under tangled wreckage for 3 hours. After emergency treatment at the trackside, he was taken to hospital in East Grinstead, Sussex with facial injuries.
Another passenger John Higgins, 42, of East Grinstead, who was catapulted from the train, later underwent emergency surgery at Redhill. Fellow passenger Roger Harrington, 40, from East Grinstead, told how the tree ripped through his carriage. He said "The driver appeared to brake very sharply and then there was a juddering as though the train had run over something. Directly opposite me this huge tree crashed through the side, taking the window and seats with it. It completely tore apart the inside of the carriage, leaving it littered with shattered glass and bits of seats."