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view document PDF (1.5Mb download)Report on the Collision which occurred on 7th January 1957 near Welwyn Garden City Station in the Eastern Region British Railways

Document Summary

The report into the collision between two passenger trains at Welwyn in 1957.

This document was published on 21st June 1957 by Ministry of Transport.

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

This item is linked to the Accident at Welwyn Garden City on 7th January 1957

The original document format was Stapled Book, and comprised 33 pages.

This document was kindly sourced from Stuart Johnson and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 7th August 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 two trains concerned were the 6.18 am. six-coach local train from Baldock to King's Cross, hauled by a powerful tank engine, and the 7.10 p.m. Sunday night express from Aberdeen to King's Cross, formed of eleven bogie vehicles and hauled by a large Pacific type engine. At the time of the accident the weather was misty and cold and the dawn was just breaking.* The local train had stopped at tKe Up Slow platform, 11 minutes late, and it was then turned on to the Up Main line, on which it was booked to run, ahead of the express, to its next stop at Finsbury Park. In the meantime the signalman had accepted the express from Welwyn North to his Up Main outer home signal at danger, as he was entitled, with the intention of holding it until the local train had cleared the 24 miles section ahead to Hatfield. The express. however, passed the outer distant signal at caution without reduction of speed, and it continued past the outer and inner home signals at danger. The emergency detonators at the signal box were exploded, but the train ran forward into the section at 60-65 m.p.h. and struck the rear of the local train which had then passed the advanced starting signal and had accelerated to 30-35 m.p.h. The Up Slow, Up Main and Down Main lines were blocked by the collision, and prompt action was taken by the train crews to protect the obstruction from both directions.

The two coaches at the rear of the local train were overturned, and the last coach, a brake second, was wrecked. The engine of the express was also overturned and the leading six coaches were derailed: they were, however, kept in remarkably good line by the central Buckeye couplings and there was very little damage to their all-steel bodies. All of the more serious casualties were in the local train. and I regret to report that a passenger in the last coach was killed. Twenty five passengers were taken to hospital, but only five were detained beyond the first day; the driver of the express train sustained severe shock and was also detained in hospital for a few days but the fireman way uninjured. Eighteen others, including the driver of the local train, were treated at the site for minor injuries or shock."

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