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view document PDF (0.8Mb download)Report on the Collision that occurred on the 27th August 1950 at Penmaenmawr in the London Midland Region British Railways

Document Summary

The report into the collision between the Irish Mail and a light engine at Penmaenmawr in 1950.

This document was published on 31st January 1951 by Ministry of Transport.

It was written by Lieut. Col. G. R. S. Wilson.


This item is linked to the Accident at Penmaenmawr on 27th August 1950


The original document format was Stapled Book, and comprised 17 pages.

This document was kindly sourced from Stuart Johnson and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 9th 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.

"The 1.45 am. Up Express Passenger train from Holyhead to Euston, the second portion of the "Irish Mail", was approaching Penmaenmawr station at 60-70 m.p.h. under a clear Distant signal, when the Home signal was put to danger just before the engine reached it. The driver shut off steam and applied the brake fully, but was unable to prevent a collision at 45-50 m.p.h. with a light engine which was just moving forward on the Up line, 547 yards beyond the Home signal. The acceptance of the Express by the Penmaenmawr signalman was in order, but he had lowered the signals for it before the light engine had moved clear of the running line during the course of a shunting movement.

There was severe damage to five of the 16 coaches of the Irish Mail, including the destruction of a sleeping car near the front of the train, and I regret to state that four passengers and a sleeping car attendant were killed outright and a fifth passenger died subsequently in hospital. Thirty-one passengers and four of the staff, including both the enginemen of the Irish Mail and the driver of the light engine, were injured and taken to hospital, or 35 persons in all, of whom I1 passengers and the mail driver were discharged on the same day. Other passengers suffering from shock and minor injury were treated on the spot and continued their journey.

Both the running lines were blocked and a second collision was prevented when a Down freight train was stopped just clear of the wreckage by the prompt action of the enginemen of the Irish Mail; the driver knew the freight train was due and, on his instructions, the fireman went forward and protected the Down line with detonators in spite of painful injuries for which he was subsequently detained in hospital."

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