BRITISH RAILWAYS 1920 - 1970

 

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RAILWAY ACCIDENTS

 

 

 

RAILWAY ACCIDENTS

The format for each entry is as follows:

Location (railway/region): nature of accident; no. of public fatalities + no. of employees killed; cause of accident; date.

Abermule, Montgomery (Cam.R.): head-on collision between two p trains on single line section; 14 + 3; misuse of tablet system; 26.1.21

Abington, Lanark (L.M.R.): derailment of down 'Royal Scot'; 0; rail failed to expand freely at junction of flat-bottom and weaker bullhead sections, rail buckled as train passed; 8.8.53

Achterneed, Ross & Cromarty (L.M.S.): unfitted f train ran back down Ravens Rock gradient and derailed at catch siding; 0; screw coupling broke; 13.1.40

Ashchurch, Gloucs (L.M.S.): collision between passenger/mail train and a shunt of goods wagons; 3+1; signals passed at danger in fog; 8.1.29.

Barby Sidings, Rugby (ex.G.C.: E.R.); p train derailed at over 50 mph on crossover; 0 + 1; single-line working was in operation, driver ignored speed limit of 10 mph, guard disregarded the running of the train; 7.8.55.

Barnes, London (S.Region): collision between two p trains; 11 + 2; signalman forgot stationary train out of sight and irregularly released lock and block instrument to accept second train; 2.12.55.

Baschurch, Salop (W.R.): collision between f and p trains; 0 + 3; signalman failed to realise that the f train, entering refuge siding, had not cleared main line; 13.2.61

Battersea Park, London (S.R.): collision between two p trains; 9 + 1; signalman freed the interlocking system and falsely cleared his instrument; 2.4.37

Beattock, Dumfries (Sc.R.): fire in p train; 5 + 0; smouldering debris in an empty compartment ignited and fire spread along the corridor; 8.6.50

Beighton, Yorks (L.N.E.R.): collision between p train and foul load; 14 + 0; a heavy steel plate on a wagon became dislodged during shunting, a troop train collided with the load as it passed the stationary wagon in a siding; 11.2.42

Betley Road, Cheshire (L.M.R.): rear-end collision between two f trains; 0 + 1; driver of following train overran red signal in fog; 17.11.54

Bletchley, Bucks (L.M.S.): collision between double-headed boat train and a shunting engine; 4+0; train passed six adverse signals in wartime blackout conditions, the experienced driver left the duty of signal watching to the pilot driver; 13.10.39.

Bourne End, near Berkhamsted, Herts (L.M.S.): high speed derailment of p train on crossover from fast to slow running lines; 41 + 2; ambiguity of meaning of double yellow colour light signals (in this case advising of splitting semaphore ahead) and possibly driver fatigue; 30.9.45

Bridge Junction, near Doncaster, Yorks (L.N.E.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains (both King's Cross-Leeds); 17 + 1; error in block working during resignalling of the area; 9.8.47

Brandon & Wolston, Warwicks (L.M.R.): firebox blow-back; 0 + 2; driver of p train stopped the train safely but died of gas inhalation later, failure to open the blower before closing the regulator; 26.4.49

Brentwood, Essex (L.N.E.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains, the leading one halted for want of steam; 6 + 1; failure of following train driver to maintain a proper lookout, due to tiredness; 10.2.41

Cannon Street, London (S.Region): sidelong collision between two p trains (one E.C.S.); 0; driver misread the signals applying to the adjacent line, co-acting detonators not fitted to this section; 20.3.61

Carlisle, Cumberland (L.M.S.): p train derailed at 45-60 mph on curve with 15 mph speed limit; 3 + 0; excessive speed; 3.1.31

Carr Bridge, Inverness (L.M.S.): part of loose-coupled f train broke away, ran back down the gradient and collided with following f train; 0 + 2; coupling failure; 5.3.40

Castlecary, Dunbarton (L.N.E.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains in adverse weather conditions; 35 + 0; failure of signalman to read track circuit indicator, possible signal failure, excessive speed; 10.12.37

Castlecary, Dunbarton (Sc.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains (one E.C.S.): 0; irregular methods of block working by two signalmen; 2.9.60

Chapel-en-le-Frith South (L.M.R.): high speed rear-end collision between two f trains; 0 + 2; the brake steam pipe of the loco in the rear burst filling the cab with steam, the crew could only partly close the regulator as the train ran away down the incline although the fireman jumped clear to apply some wagon brakes; 9.2.57

Charfield, Gloucs. (L.M.S.): sidelong collision between mail/p and f trains, the latter reversing into refuge siding, followed by a second collision between derailed mail/p and approaching f train; 16 + 1; excessive speed and failure to maintain a proper lookout by mail train driver; 13.10.28

Cowlairs, near Glasgow (L.N.E.R.): collision between p train and light engine; 12 + 2; under wartime blackout conditions, signalman failed to see that the light engine was still occupying the main line and cleared the signals for the p train; 30.1.42

Dagenham, Essex (E.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains in thick fog; 10 + 0; failure to observe signals by following driver, co-acting detonator not fitted to the starting signal which was overrun; 30.1.58

Dalwhinnie, Inverness (L.M.S.): a sleeper lying across the track was caught under the snowplough of a p train loco, six miles distant the sleeper fouled a crossover rail and derailed the loco; 0; possible vandalism; 12.3.26

Darlington, Durham (L.N.E.R.): high speed collision between parcels train and p train; 25 + 0; driver of parcels train misunderstood the meaning of a calling-on signal and proceeded on to the main line; 27.6.28

Didcot (Milton), Berks (W.R.); high-speed derailment at crossover; 11 + 0; driver failed to respond to distant signal at caution, mistook loop signal for main line signal and entered facing crossover at speed; 20.11.55

Doncaster, Yorks (E.R.): derailment of p train; 14 + 0; bolts of trailing V-crossing broke, nine rear coaches derailed, the leading one of which struck an overbridge pier; 16.3.51

Dunstable, Beds. (L.M.R.): firebox blow-back forced the enginemen off the footplate; 0 + 1; train stopped by the porter guard, failure to open the blower before closing the regulator; 20.4.55

Eastbourne, Sussex (S.Region): head-on collision between two p trains; 4 + 1; experienced driver missed a home signal in bad weather; 25.8.58

East Langton, Leics (L.M.R.): rear-end collision between two f trains; 0 + 1; train at rear was grossly overloaded for the braking power of the loco and overran signals, guard failed to check load, lack of liaison at originating yard (Leicester); 20.8.65

Eccles, Lancs (L.M.S.): sidelong collision between two p trains; 23 + 0; signalman failed to follow fog working regulations, driver failed to maintain a proper lookout; 30.12.41

Edinburgh Haymarket (L.N.E.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains; 5 + 0; driver on loco travelling tender first misread signals and did not hear treadle-operated warning bell in tunnel; 28.7.24

Elm Park, Essex (E.R.): derailment of p train; 1 + 1; wanton obstruction of line by vandals; 29.3.65

Euston (L.M.S.): rear-end collision between two p trains, the front one stationary at an up slow signal; 5 + 0; signalman cleared the up slow line after the movement of a train which had stood on the up fast line; 26.4.24

Farnborough, Hants (S.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains, the leading train was halted at a failed automatic signal; 1 + 1; signalman gave incorrect instruction to driver of following train and failed to follow the procedure for emergency block working; 26.11.47

Ferryhill, Durham (L.N.E.R.): collision between f train and p train; 10 + 0; two parts of a divided freight train collided, the wreckage fouled the path of a p train approaching at 50mph on the opposite line; 5.1.46

Ford, Sussex (S.Region): rearend collision between two p trains; 8 + 1; front train in loop fouled track circuit which prevented the loop points from being restored to the main line, driver in rear passed inner home at danger; 5.8.51

Goswick, Northumberland (L.N.E.R.): high speed derailment of p train on crossover from main to goods running lines; 27 + 1; driver had unauthorised passenger on footplate, was unaware of diversion and failed to observe signals; 26.10.47

Great Bridgeford, Stafford (L.M.S.): p train derailed on cross-over; 4+0; excessive speed, 17.6.32.

Gretna Junction, Cumberland (L.M.S.): sidelong approaching collision between p train and f train crossing its path; 2 + 1; evidence conflicting but possibly the signalman may have changed the order of precedence of the trains not realising that the f train was too close to be able to stop clear; 5.11.40

Harrow & Wealdstone, Middlesex (L.M.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains on up line followed closely by second collision of train on down line; 108 + 4; possibly the driver of the following train failed to observe two sets of signals in misty conditions; 8.10.52

Herne Hill, London (S.R.): sidelong approaching collision between two p trains at diamond crossing in dense fog; 1 + 0; fireman misread hand signal shown by the fogman; 6.11.47

Hitchin, Herts (E.R.): rear-end collision of two f trains on down main line, an up f train collided with the wreckage and in turn caused a light engine to be thrown off the up slow line; 0; driver failed to maintain a proper lookout and misread an automatic semaphore stop signal, signalman was slow to return signal to caution ahead of the stop signal; 19.11.58

Hither Green , London (S.Region): diesel multiple unit became derailed at 70mph; 47 + 0; broken rail; 5.11.67

Hixon, Staffs (L.M.R.): express p train was in collision with a transporter carrying a 125-ton transformer at a half-barrier level crossing; 8 + 3; procedure for abnormal loads not carried out: rules subsequently modified; 6.1.68

Holmes Chapel, Cheshire (L.M.S.): rear-end collision of two p trains; 9+0; signalman cleared his block instrument prematurely; 14.9.41.

Holmes Chapel, Cheshire (L.M.R.): derailment of parcels train which caused collapse of the overhead catenary; 0; excessive speed for train which included 4-wheel vehicles of less than 15ft-wheelbase; 14.2.61

Holyhead, (L.M.R.): p train collided with stationary p train in terminal platform capable of holding two trains; 1 + 0; signalman could not see arriving train and cleared stop signal without bringing the train to a halt, error of judgment on fireman's part in poor visibility; 4.9.65

Hull Paragon, Yorks (L.N.E.R.): head-on collision of two p trains; 12 + 0; signalman pulled the wrong points lever while interlocking was momentarily freed; 14.2.27

Irk Valley Junction, Manchester, (L.M.R.): collision between two p trains; 9 + 1; signalman irregularly accepted two trains at converging junction without sufficient over-run beyond protecting signal, driver of one train passed this signal at danger; 15.8.53

Itchingfield J., Sussex (S.Region): sidelong collision between two f trains; 0 + 2; driver overran signal, poor ventilation in the diesel cab may have been a contributory factor and caused drowsiness; 5.3.64

Laindon, Essex (E.R.): derailment of p train at catch points; 2 + 0; single-line working arrangements applied during engineering works, a lengthman had clipped the points in the derailing position and handsignalled the train through them, train crew used excessive speed; 18.4.60

Leeds City, Yorks (N.E.Region): sidelong collision of light engine and p train; 1 + 0; driver of light engine misread a bracket signal to the right of the line as a directional signal; 10.8.61

Leighton Buzzard, Beds (L.M.S.): p train derailed on crossover from fast to slow lines; 3 + 3; driver failed to observe distant signal and continued at excessive speed, lack of A.T.C.; 22.3.31

Lewisham, London (S.Region): rear-end collision of two p trains in dense fog; 89 + 1; collision caused an overhead railway bridge to collapse and a further accident involving a p train on the elevated line was only narrowly averted, driver failed to read two signals and overran a stop signal; 4.12.57

Lichfield (Trent Valley), Staffs (L.M.S.): rear-end collision between p and following f train; 20 + 0; the locking bolt on a points mechanism was impeded and the wrong road was set, the driver overran a stop signal after passing two distant signals at clear; 1.1.46

Little Salkeld, Cumberland (L.M.S.): side-long collision between p train and goods shunting engine; 0 + 1; signalman opened his box and allowed shunting to begin, without complying with block regulations; 10.7.33

Liverpool (Lime Street), Lancs (L.M.R.): p train (E.C.S.) ran out of control on descending gradient, crashed through buffers on to concourse; 0; vacuum brake connection was not made between two vehicles, guard failed to test the brake; 19.11.49

Luton Midland Road, Beds (L.M.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains; 0 + 1; driver failed to observe distant signal and overran home signal; 22.12.55

Lytham, Lancs (L.M.S.): high speed derailment of p train; 14 + 0; tyre of locomotive bogie fractured; 3.11.24

Morpeth, Northumberland (E.R.): derailment of down express p train (Aberdonian); 6; excessive speed; 7.5.69

Moss Side, Lancs (L.M.S.): p train derailed and demolished a signalbox; 13 + 1; bogie wheel tyre broke; 3.11.24.

Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset (G.W.R.): p train ran through catch-points on down relief line in wartime blackout conditions, a passing newspaper train on the down fast line narrowly avoided being involved; 26 + 1; driver misread his road and read the fast line signals; 4.11.40

Paddock Wood, Kent (S.Region): rear-end collision between parcels train and p train; 3 + 1; p train overran signals in dense fog on line not fitted with A.T.C.; 4.1.69

Parkgate & Rawmarsh, Yorks (L.M.S): p train at speed came into collision with wreckage of f train on adjacent slow line; 9 + 0; poorly maintained private owner's wagon became derailed and braking caused other wagons to pile up; 19.11.26

Penmaenmawr, Caernarvon (L.M.R.): collision between p train (Irish Mail) and light engine; 5 + 1; misunderstanding between enginemen and signalman during shunting operations; 27.8.50

Polesworth, Warwicks (L.M.S.): derailment of express p train on curve blocking all four running lines; 5+0; poorly maintained track during wartime conditions; 21.7.47

Port Eglington J. Glasgow (L.M.S.): almost head-on collision on crossover between two p trains; 9; driver of Paisley-St Enoch train passed signals at danger; 6.9.34

Potters Bar, Middlesex (L.N.E.R.): p train became derailed by the reversing of a facing crossover under its leading coach, two p trains in turn struck the ensuing wreckage; 2 + 0; driver of the first train overran a signal, signalman attempted to divert the movement but reversed the points too late; 10.2.46

Queen Street, Glasgow (L.N.E.R.): p train loco stalled on the incline in the tunnel, the driver inadvertently reversed it in poor visibility and caused a collision with a following train, due to set back into another line; 4 + 0; safety lights were provided in the tunnel to assist drivers in verifying their direction of movement, signalman failed to observe rules concerning these lights and tunnel movements; 12.10.28

Raynes Park, Surrey (S.R.): down p train became derailed and was struck by an up fast p train; 5 + 0; error of judgment on the part of the permanent way men who were carrying out preliminary work for realignment of the track; 25.5.33

Rugby, Warwicks (E.R.): pallet van in f train became derailed and caused the train to split, approaching p train struck the obstructing van; 0 + 1; guard of f train failed to act promptly, signalman failed to fully appreciate the track circuit indication, design of van springing was found to be wanting; 11.2.60

St Johns: see Lewisham

Sandbach: see Holmes Chapel

Settle, Yorks (L.M.R.): the right-hand motion assembly of p train loco became detached and damaged the adjacent track causing derailment of passing f train loco; 5 + 0; earlier inspection by the driver in adverse weather conditions failed to detect fault, driver used insufficient caution, bulk of blame placed on poor maintenance; 21.1.60

Sevenoaks, Kent (S.R.): leading coupled wheel of 2-6-4T (S.E.C.R. Class K) p train loco derailed causing train to pile up at overbridge; 13 + 0; blame was placed on arrears of maintenance on track and aspects of loco design-the class was subsequently rebuilt as tender locos; 24.8.27

Slough, Bucks (G.W.R.): head-on collision between p train and f train; 5 + 0; signalman failed to make certain that the f train had stopped at signal before allowing the p train to cross lines in front of it; 2.7.41

Slough, Bucks (W.R.): up 'Pembroke Coast Express' was derailed, train broke in half and rear section left the rails; 0; broken rail; 1.5.59

Smedley Viaduct, near Manchester, Lancs (L.M.R.): almost head-on collision between p train and light engine; 0; failure of signalman to follow block regulation concerning crossover, wilful interference with signalling equipment by trespassers causing signal to show a false indication; 15.10.59

Soham, Cambs (L.N.E.R.); munitions van exploded; 0 + 2; leading van of munitions train caught fire, the fireman uncoupled the van from the remainder of the train and the van was drawn forward: it exploded at Soham signal box causing severe damage; 2.6.44

South Croydon, Surrey (S.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains in dense fog; 31 + 1; signalman forgot the presence of the leading train, hastily used the releasing key of the Sykes block and irregularly accepted the following train; 24.10.47

Stockport (Heaton Norris), Lancs (L.M.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains in dense fog; 5 + 0; drivers of double-headed train, in rear, misunderstood verbal instruction and failed to observe signal on departure from platform; 30.11.48

Sutton Coldfield, Warwicks (L.M.R.): p train diverted from its normal route was derailed at high speed; 14 + 3; experienced driver failed to observe speed restriction on sharp curve; 23.1.55

Thirsk (Coldbeck), Yorks (E.R.): cement tanker became derailed on the slow down line and fouled the down fast line. The wagon was struck by an overtaking p train; 7 + 0; 31.7.67

Watford Junction (L.M.R.); eighth coach of p train derailed on broken rail in Watford Tunnel, passenger pulled communication cord but train continued for over 1mi before end coaches broke away and derailed; communication cord apparatus ineffective at rear of long train unless driver realised loss of vacuum, which was gradually restored by the large ejector; 0; 3.2.54

Wath Road J., Yorks (L.M.R.): p train derailed at c 60mph on straight track; 7 + 1; track distorted in hot weather; 18.5.48

Weedon, Northants (L.M.R.): p train was derailed at speed; 14 + 1; leading bogie axleboxes of the 'Princess Royal' Class loco were tight in the horn guides and when raised were unable to descend again, inadequate supervision of the fitters; 21.9.51

Welwyn Garden City, Herts (L.N.E.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains; 13 + 1; inexperienced signalman became confused about the identity of three trains running at close intervals and gave 'Out of section' incorrectly; 15.6.35

Welwyn Garden City, Herts (E.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains; 1 + 0; driver misread outer distant signal and overran home signals, train loco not a.t.c. fitted; 7.1.57

Wembley, London (L.M.S.): p train struck luggage barrow at speed in blackout conditions and derailed; 9 + 2; the extensive nature of the derailment was due to the derailed wheels striking a crossover junction, the loaded barrow which ran back off the platform ramp was too heavy for the three porters handling it; 12.10.40

West Sleekburn Junction, near Morpeth, Northumberland (N.E.Region): near head-on collision between two f trains; 2; train on falling gradient was unable to stop, overran the stop signal and collided with train crossing its path, gradient had been accentuated by mining subsidence so that the special working arrangements were inappropriate, driver did not keep his train sufficiently under control; 4.11.59

Winsford, Cheshire (L.M.R.): rear-end collision between p train and postal train; 24 + 0; passenger pulled communication chord illegally, signalman, unsure that the p train had passed, failed to protect the section and accepted the second train; 17.4.48

Winsford, Cheshire (L.M.R.): rear-end collision between two p trains; 18; the following train was held at an automatic stop signal but the up line telephones had failed, the driver passed the signal and proceeded at excessive speed, failing to see the train ahead in darkness until 60ft from it; 26.12.62

Winwick Junction, near Warrington, Lancs (L.M.S.): high speed collision between two p trains; 10 + 1; signalman forgot presence of leading train; 28.9.34

Witham, Essex (E.R.): rear-end collision between p/mail and f train in fog; 0 + 2; the following p/mail train overran signals at excessive speed; 7.3.50

Wormit, Fife (Sc.R.): p train loco travelling tender-first derailed in tunnel and on emerging, overturned; 2 unauthorised passengers on footplate + 1; excessive speed; 28.5.55.

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