This week’s column was going to be about my first post-Covid trip to the cinema to see James Bond, but events on Sunday evening put my moans about how disappointing the film was sharply into perspective.

Sunday was a bit of a strange day all round.

The wind in the morning was a weird one – a storm without a storm, giving our back fence and garden pots a serious working over. Later, with the trick or treaters out traipsing around in their search for sweets, the air was full of the sound of sirens and helicopter spotlights flashing overhead.

And as with the rules of modern new stories, reports of the train crash first spread out on social media, followed by the delayed texts from friends and family further afield checking you were all ok.

When I first moved to Salisbury nearly two decades ago now, I used to commute up to London for work for years. On a quick calculation, I’ve been through Fisherton Tunnel several thousand times in my life.

I was one of those irritating commuters who knew my timings to the point that when the trainline runs into Salisbury parallel with London Road, that was the moment for me to extract myself from my seat and gather my stuff. As the train reached the tunnel, that was my cue to make my way to the door for a quick exit.

I read about the crash, therefore, with a plenty of There But For The Grace of God… In December 1988, at the other end of the commuting line, trains from Basingstoke and Bournemouth were involved in the Clapham Junction railway crash: 35 people were killed and 484 injured.

The crash on Sunday night was not far from the site of Salisbury’s previous rail tragedy back in 1906, when 28 people lost their lives. Was it fortunate that these were quieter Sunday evening trains rather than packed commuter ones? Certainly, the fact that no one thankfully lost their lives feels something of a minor miracle.

In all of this, it’s important to remember that as modes of transport go, trains are comparatively safe. The number of fatal rail accidents in the UK since the start of the millennium is still in single figures. According to analysis in The Times on Tuesday, on a measurement of ‘fatality risk per traveller kilometre’, travelling by car is twenty-two times more dangerous.

Last year, three passengers lost their lives on the railways. The number of deaths on the UK roads, even in the midst of the pandemic, was 1,516.

It’s down to how unusual they are that train crashes make the headlines, whereas car accidents are relegated to the inside pages.