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view document PDF (21.7Mb download)Report of the Public Inquiry into the Accident at Hixon Level Crossing on January sixth, 1968

Document Summary

The report of the enquiry into the Hixon crash, in which an express train hit a slow-moving road transporter at Hixon level crossing. Because of the nature of the accident, the enquiry was convened to look into the wider safety issues surrounding Automatic Half Barrier (AHB) crossings.

This document was published on 1st July 1968 by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

It was written by Ministry of Transport.


This item is linked to the Accident at Hixon on 6th January 1968


The original document format was Bound Booklet, and comprised 170 pages.

This document was kindly sourced from Wobbly Bob and is in our Accident inquiry documents collection. It was added to the Archive on 1st August 2005.

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 basic facts of the tragic accident are not in dispute. At approximately 12.26 p.m. on Saturday the 6th January, 1968, in clear visibility, the 11.30 a.m. Manchester to Euston express, a 12-coach train carrying some 300 passengers and weighing (with its locomotive) 491 tons, running at about 75 miles per hour collided with a heavy road transporter carrying a 120-ton transformer over the automatic crossing. As a result of that collision the train driver, the second man, and a spare driver in the locomotive were killed, and so also were eight passengers in the train. Forty-four passengers and a restaurant car attendant were injured, six of them seriously...

The immediate cause of the accident is plain. The level crossing was thirty feet long from the nearest half-barrier to the furthest rail and no vehicle of the length of the transporter could traverse it within the 24 seconds' warning period before the arrival of an express train unless it moved at more than six miles per hour: but this transporter was going at only two miles per hour. Neither the crew of the transporter nor the police escort knew the time sequence of operation of automatic crossings, and so did not realise that they would have such short warning of the onset of a train. Consequently, no one paused to consider whether a train might be imminent. Nor had any of them observed the Emergency Notice, or become aware of the provision of a telephone in the half-barrier apparatus, so no one telephoned the signalman to enquire whether it was safe to cross."

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