Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 18:37 UK

Inquest told woman 'misjudged' Gwynedd level crossing

Sally Hudson
Sally Hudson died on the Cambrian coast line, the inquest heard

An 83-year-old woman died on a level crossing near her home she had used for nearly 40 years, an inquest has heard.

Sally Hudson's car was hit by a locomotive on the Cambrian coast line near her home in Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd, last September.

She had lived near the private rail crossing since moving from London, the inquest in Caernarfon was told.

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death, saying Mrs Hudson had "misjudged the situation".

Coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones said: "In a way it was Mrs Hudson's familiarity with the use of the crossing that led to her death.

"She was a local character, much loved and will be missed.

The coroner said that Mrs Hudson "wasn't aware of the approaching train."

The train at Penrhyndeudraeth
The test train was travelling the line towards Porthmadog

He said: "She would have used this crossing most days. The impression I gain is she would have been aware of all the scheduled railway traffic that would pass."

The railway crossing was on a private road leading to Mrs Hudson's home.

She had run a pottery, initially with her husband until his death in 1984, and then alone until two years before her death.

The inquest heard the train involved was not a scheduled service. It was not carrying passengers, but was a test locomotive.

The driver and colleagues were travelling towards Porthmadog in what was described as "route refreshing".

There was a phone connected to a signal box which allowed people to check if it was safe to cross the line but Mrs Hudson did not use it, the hearing was told

Mr Pritchard-Jones said: "She would do what I have done with similar crossings. We should use the phone but we don't always do so."

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