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Encyclopedia > Lewisham rail crash

The Lewisham Rail Crash occurred on 4 December 1957 in Lewisham, South London. Ninety people were killed and 173 injured. It was the third worst rail crash in the UK in terms of death toll. Lewisham is an area within the London Borough of Lewisham in south-east London. ...


The crash occurred in thick fog when Bullied Pacific 34066 "Spitfire" (Battle of Britain Class), hauling the delayed 4.56 pm Cannon Street to Ramsgate express, hit a 10-coach Electric Multiple Unit forming the 5.18 pm Charing Cross to Hayes train and was deflected into an overbridge. The bridge collapsed on to the carriages, and this combined with the evening rush hour crowding of the trains led to the high death toll. The locomotive was repaired and returned to traffic some time later.


The driver had missed the two preceding signals in the fog and was unable to stop in time on seeing the red signal. He was tried for manslaughter but the jury could not agree on a verdict; he was discharged but died a year later. The accident would have been prevented if Automatic Warning System (AWS) had been installed and, together with the earlier accident at Harrow, finally led to its universal adoption in Britain. The Automatic Warning System (AWS) refers to the specific form of limited cab signalling introduced in 1948 in the United Kingdom to help train drivers observe and obey warning signals, yellow or green. ... AWS can mean Akcja Wyborcza Solidarnosc Automatic Warning System for railway use. ... The Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash was a major railway collision accident that occurred on October 8, 1952, 11. ...


Further details available in the books below and casualty figures available from BBC website.


References

Hamilton., J.A.B. (1967). British Railway Accidents of the 20th Century (reprinted as Disaster down the Line).. George Allen and Unwin / Javelin Books. ISBN 0713719737.


Nock, O.S. (1980). Historic Railway Disasters, 2nd ed., Ian Allan.


Rolt, L.T.C. (1956 (and later editions)). Red for Danger. Bodley Head / David and Charles / Pan Books.


Vaughan, Adrian (1989). Obstruction Danger. Guild Publishing. ISBN 1-85260-055-1.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Ladbroke Grove rail crash - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (698 words)
The Ladbroke Grove rail crash was a British rail accident on October 5, 1999 in which thirty-one people died.
The track layout had been modified in this way by British Rail in the early 1990s, but the line had subsequently been electrified to allow the new Heathrow Express service to operate from 1994, and the new overhead power lines obstructed the view of various signals.
This was the second major accident on the Great Western Main Line in less than eighteen months, the other being the Southall rail crash of May 1998, just a few miles further west, and this severely damaged public confidence in the safety of Britain's privatised railway system.
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