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view document PDF (1.6Mb download)Report on the Derailment that occurred on 6th June 1975 at Nuneaton in the London Midland Region British Railways

Document Summary

The report into the derailment of the London to Glasgow sleeper train at Nuneaton in 1975.

This document was published on 27th September 1976 by Department of Transport.

It was written by Major C. F. Rose.

This item is linked to the Accident at Nuneaton on 6th June 1975

The original document format was Stapled Book, and comprised 21 pages.

This document was kindly sourced from Stuart Johnson and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 4th May 2006.

Copyright Information

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.

"Between King's Langley and Nuneaton the train was driven at its maximum permitted speed but it was still some 66 minutes late as it approached Nuneaton, running at about 80 mile/h on the Down Fast line. While still over a mile from the station the train passed the lineside board giving advance warning of a 20 mile/h temporary speed restriction through the station but the lights on the board were out and the driver, on his evidence, wrongly assumed that the speed restriction had been lifted and allowed the train to continue at speed down the falling gradient. Just before entering the station he saw the oil-lit board marking the actual commencement of the speed restriction and made an immediate emergency brake application but it was by then too late and the locomotive became derailed on a length of curved temporary track that had replaced the 100 mile/h Down Fast line at the south end of the station whilst the permanent way layout was being remodelled.

The leading locomotive was followed into derailment by all except the rear coach of the train and many of the sleeping cars in the front half of the train were severely damaged, some being thrown onto their sides. I much regret to report that four persons, two passengers and two Sleeping Car Attendants, were killed in the derailment and two further passengers died later in hospital as a result of injuries received. The accident was seen by the signalman and a Supervisor on duty in Nuneaton Signal Box and they alerted the emergency services who reacted with commendable speed, the Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance Services all being at the scene within about six minutes of the alarm being raised. A total of 38 people were conveyed to the Manor Hospital, Nuneaton, of whom ten were detained with serious injuries. The damage to the sleeping cars made rescue difficult and it was 07.39 before the last injured person could be released and taken to hospital. The last body was not removed until 17.28 and the search of the wreckage continued until 11.45 on Saturday 7th June when it was finally established that no one else was trapped."

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