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view document PDF (0.5Mb download)Report on the Collision that occurred on 22nd October 1979 at Invergowrie in the Scottish Region British Railways

Document Summary

The report into the collision between two passenger trains at Invergowrie in 1979.

This document was published on 16th January 1981 by Department of Transport.

It was written by Major C. F. Rose.

This item is linked to the Accident at Invergowrie on 22nd October 1979

The original document format was Stapled Book, and comprised 21 pages.

This document was kindly sourced from Stuart Johnson and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 2nd October 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.

"At approximately 10.56 on Monday, 22nd October 1979, the 08.44 Glasgow to Dundee passenger train passed Longforgan Signal Box, about 6 miles west of Dundee, and was correctly signalled into the section leading to the next signal box ahead, Buckingham Junction. It was running some 25 minutes late, having lost time on the journey from Glasgow due to mechanical difficulties with its diesel locomotive. After making its booked stop at Invergowrie Station, the locomotive was unable to develop adequate power and, after travelling slowly some 540 yards beyond the station, the train came to a stand. The driver applied the train brake and sent his assistant back to inform the guard that the locomotive was a failure.

Meanwhile the following train, the 09.35 Glasgow to Aberdeen express, had arrived at Longforgan at 11.09. It was brought nearly to a stand at the Down Home signal in accordance with the rules and the signalman then cleared this signal with the intention of allowing the train forward towards the Down Section signal to await clearance of the section by the train ahead. The Section signal had been replaced to Danger by the signalman after the passage of the 08.44 train and the interlocking was such that it could not he cleared again until the next train had been accepted by Buckingham Junction. The signal was visible from Longforgan Signal Box and appeared to the signalman to be correctly at Danger. The 09.35 train, however, did not stop at the Section signal but continued forward into the occupied section. The Longforgan signalman immediately telephoned to Buckingham Junction and sent the emergency bell signals but there was nothing that either signalman could do to prevent a collision.

The 09.35 train passed through Invergowrie Station at about 70 mile/h, at which point the 08.44 train would have come into the driver's view, only a few hundred yards ahead. A last-second brake application reduced the train's speed to around 60 mile/h before it struck the train ahead. The force of the collision threw the two rearmost coaches of the 08.44 train across the sea wall and onto the muddy foreshore of the Tay estuary. Of the other three coaches in this train, the first was derailed and drawn towards the river and the second and third were projected onto the sea wall but remained coupled to the first coach. The locomotive was not derailed. The locomotive of the 09.35 train was very severely damaged and derailed all wheels. Its leading cab was totally crushed. The first coach was impacted into the rear of the locomotive and derailed all wheels, and the leading bogie of the second coach was also derailed. The remaining five coaches were not derailed and the complete train remained coupled together.

I regret to have to report that the driver and driver's assistant of the 09.35 train together with two passengers travelling in the rearmost coach of the 08.44 train were killed, and an elderly lady received injuries from which she subsequently died."

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