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view document PDF (2.0Mb download)Accident Returns: Extract for the Accident at St Bedes Junction on 17th December 1915

Document Summary

The report on the collision of double collision of a light engine and two passenger trains, and the subsequent fire, at St Bede's Junction in 1915.

This document was published on 3rd February 1916 by Board of Trade.

It was written by Lieut. Col. P. G. von Donop.


This item is linked to the Accident at St Bedes Junction on 17th December 1915


The original document format was Bound Volume, and comprised 19 pages.

This document was kindly sourced from Steve Thompson and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 9th July 2008.

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.

"In this case, as a light engine was moving slowly forward on the up main he near St. Bede's Junction, it was run into by the engine of the 7.5 a.m. up passenger train from South Shields to Newcastle, consisting of an engine and seven vehicles, which was travelling at a speed of about 30 miles an hour. Both engines were derailed, fouling the down line, and almost immediately afterwards the wreckage was run into by the engine of the 6.58 a.m. down empty passenger train from Hebburn to South Shields, consisting of an engine and eight vehicles, which was running at the time at a speed of about 10 miles an hour. The light engine and the engine of the up train were thrown down the embankment on the up side of the line, and the two leading vehicles of the up train were considerably damaged, being telescoped together; these two vehicles subsequently caught fire, the whole of the first and the leading end of the second being consumed. The rear vehicles were, however, promptly uncoupled and were drawn back clear of the burning vehicles. Eighteen passengers in this train, most of whom were travelling in the leading vehicle, were killed, and it is believed that all those killed in that vehicle were killed instantaneously by the collision. Their bodies were however subsequently completely consumed by fire, and their identification was a matter of great difficulty. Two or three of the killed, however, were travelling in the leading compartment of the second coach,and it is feared that in one, and possibly two cases, death was due to the fire. There were also 81 people injured, including 11 railway servants, six of whom were travelling as passengers, and some of these injuries are of a serious nature. The driver of the light engine and the driver and fireman of the up passenger train were amongst those injured.

The engine of the down train was thrown down the embankment on the down side of the line, and was seriously damaged. The leading vehicle of the train came to rest close to the two front vehicles of the up passenger train, and it also caught fire and was completely consumed. In the case of this train also, the rear vehicles were uncoupled and drawn clear of the fire. There were no passengers travelling in this train, but the driver of the engine was seriously injured, and the fireman was killed. "

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