A LOW-loader carrying a 65tonne steam engine collapsed on a main road through Wareham Forest. The road is now clear.

The engine was travelling on the back of the low-loader from Wareham to Bere Regis when the low-loader collapsed on the Bere Road around 200m from The Silent Woman Inn on Wednesday.

The road was cleared just before 8am on Thursday morning.

The engine, which is operated by Swanage Railway, was on its way to the West Somerset Steam Show in Taunton. 

It appears the low-loader collapsed in the middle, taking a 40ft gouge out of the road.

Police put a cordon on the damaged lane but traffic was able to pass. 

Recovery took place on Thursday morning.

The green steam engine is a British Railway steam engine bearing the number 6695 and appeared to be undamaged. 

On Wednesday, David Hawkins said he was doing some work when his daughter said there had been a train crash.

He said: "I thought it was an April 1 joke until I looked out the window."

The collapse is believed to have happened at around 12.10pm and resident, Win Sowry, who lives on Bere Road, said that she and her husband heard the loud crash as the chassis of the truck broke.

Win said: “The truck driver said that it had come from Swanage Railway and it has Great Western on the side.

“It’s on the left hand side of the road and with the weight of the engine, it has pulled the tarmac up, as the truck came to a stop and it dragged along the ground. I should imagine that it will be a while before a crane would be able to come along and lift it off the ground.”

Husband, David, added: “The low loader’s driver said that he was taking it from Swanage to Taunton in Somerset.

“He said that the chassis has snapped in half and so they are bringing another trailer and low-loader and hope to tow the engine from one vehicle to another.”

She added that there was a small amount of traffic along the road which links Sandford and Wareham to the A35 heading towards Bloxworth and Bere Regis.