The report into the triple collision which occurred at Harrow & Wealdstone station in fog, killing 112 people. The report accelerated the introduction of a form of Automatic Warning System (AWS), to give drivers an audible indication of signals and an automatic brake application if the driver did not acknowledge a warning.
This document was published on 12th June 1953 by Ministry of Transport.
It was written by Lieut. Col. G. R. S. Wilson.
This item is linked to the Accident at Harrow and Wealdstone on 8th October 1952
The original document format was Stapled Book, and comprised 55 pages.
This document was kindly sourced from Archive Collection and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 29th March 2005.
This document is Crown Copyright, and is subject to the terms governing the reproduction of crown copyright material. Depending on the status and age of the original document, you may need an OPSI click-use license if you wish to reproduce this material, and other restrictions may apply. Please see this explanation for further details.
I have the honour to report for the information of the Minister of Transport, in accordance with the Order dated 8th October 1952, the result of my Inquiry into the disastrous double collision which occurred at about 8.19 a.m. on that day at Harrow and Wealdstone station, about 11£½ miles from Euston, on the Western Division six track main line in the London Midland Region, British Railways.
The two trains concerned in the primary collision were the 7.31 a.m. Up local passenger train from Tring to Euston, comprising nine non-corridor bogie coaches hauled by a 2-6-4 type tank engine, and the 8.15 p.m. Up express passenger train from Perth to Euston, which consisted of 11 bogie vehicles, including four sleeping cars and three vans, hauled by a tender engine of 4-6-2 type. The third train, which ran into the wreckage of the first collision was the 8.0 a.m. Down express from Euston to Liverpool and Man£chester, consisting of 15 bogie vehicles, including four vans at the rear; this train was double-headed, with a 4-6-0 type engine in front, and a 4-6-2 type engine attached to the coaches.
The local train had crossed from the Up Slow to the Up Fast line at the country end of the station, and had stopped, as booked, at the Up Fast (No. 4) platform. It had been standing there for about 1£½ minutes and the brakes had been released when it was struck heavily at the rear by the Perth express which had passed the colour light distant signal at caution and two semaphore signals at danger in patchy fog and was travelling at 50-60 m.p.h. on the Up Fast line; the express had burst through the trailing points of the crossover from Up Slow to Up Fast, as they were still locked reversed by the Up Fast Starting signal ahead which had been cleared for the local train to proceed on its journey.
The resulting wreckage was spread across the adjacent Down Fast line on which the Liverpool express was approaching at not much less than 60 m.p.h., and the leading engine of this train struck the derailed engine of the Perth train a second or two after the first collision. Both of the Liverpool train engines were diverted to the left across one of the platforms and were overturned foul of the Up Electric line close to the No. 2 signal box which controls the Electric lines only. The current was removed from the conductor rails of the Up line by the resulting short circuit, and from the Down line by the prompt action of the signalman; an Up electric train from Watford was stopped well clear by the loss of current, and by the automatic reversal of the Up line Home signal to danger."
Harrow & Wealdstone - Diagram of Signals Etc
8th October 1952
Train Register Entries for 8th October 1952
13th October 1952
Mishap at Harrow - Wednesday October 8th. Electric Lines.
12th June 1953
Report On The Double Collision Which Occurred On 8th October 1952 At Harrow And Wealdstone Station In The London Midland Region British Railways...
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