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view document PDF (0.9Mb download)Report on the Derailment that occurred on 19th December 1973 near West Ealing in the Western Region British Railways

Document Summary

The report into the derailment of a passenger train at West Ealing in 1973, caused by a loose battery box door which fouled point rodding and split the points as the train passed.

This document was published on 13th September 1974 by Department of the Environment.

It was written by Lieut. Col. I. K. A. McNaughton.


This item is linked to the Accident at West Ealing on 19th December 1973


The original document format was Stapled Book, and comprised 18 pages.

This document was kindly sourced from Harry Knox and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 20th March 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.

"The train left Paddington 11 minutes late at 17.29 and, at some point after leaving the terminal, an insecurely fastened battery box door on the near side of the locomotive fell open. After fouling a number of lineside structures, the door dropped into such a position that it struck the operating rods of the facing points leading from the Down Main line to the Down Relief line at Longlield Avenue Junction, which is situated between Ealing Broadway and West Ealing Stations. The effect was to open the points underneath the locomotive, causing the train, which was travelling at approximately 70 mile/h, to become completely derailed. It came to rest within 210 yards with the locomotive on its right side with the first coach still coupled to it, derailed all wheels, but upright. The next 5 coaches were zigzagged across all 4 lines and severely damaged. The rear 5 coaches were also derailed but remained upright and sustained only minor damage.

The train was carrying approximately 650 passengers of whom, I regret to report, 10 lost their lives. Altogether 94 passengers were injured of whom 53 were taken to hospital, 8 being detained and the remainder discharged after treatment. Eleven passengers were given first aid at Ealing Town Hall."

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