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view document PDF (5.1Mb download)Report on the Accident at King's Cross on 4th February 1945

Document Summary

The report into the derailment of a passenger train at King's Cross in 1945.

Please note that the quality of these scans is lower than normal. This is unavoidable due to the quality of the source material.

This document was published on 29th May 1945 by Ministry of War Transport.

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


This item is linked to the Accident at Kings Cross on 4th February 1945


The original document format was Paper, and comprised 14 pages.

This document was kindly sourced from Stuart Johnson and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 26th 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.

"I have the honour to report for the information of the Minister of War Transport, in accordance with the order dated 9th February 1945, the result of my inquiry into the accident which occurred at about 6.11 p.m. (15 minutes after sunset) on Sunday, 4th February 1945, at King's Cross Station, in the Southern Area of the London and North Eastern Railway. The 6.0 p.m. train to Leeds and Bradford, comprising 17 bogie corridor coaches hauled by an A4 Pacific type engine, started 5 minutes late from No. 5 Platform and entered the middle of the three double-line Gas Works tunnels. The engine slipped badly in the tunnel on the rising gradient of I in 105, coming momentarily to a stand about 590 yards from the start as it approached the northern exit. The train then ran backwards out of the tunnel towards the station at a speed of about 6-7 m.p.h., but the backward movement of about 200 yards was unnoticed by the engineman and the guard; the latter was travelling in the middle of the train.

One of the signalmen at King's Cross (power) box observed from the track circuit indications that the train was running back on Down main line No. 1; the road had been set for No. 10 Platform line, in which the coaches of the 7.0 p.m. train to Aberdeen were standing, and he reversed 155 points to divert the movement into No. 15 platform line, which was unoccupied. Unfortunately, he was just too late, and the points, which are only 7 yards outside the tunnel, moved between the bogies of the rearmost coach, a brake composite, with the result that it became derailed and was forced over on its side against a steel stanchion of the main signal bridge, which cut into the roof and demolished one of the two first class compartments.

I regret to report that two passengers in this compartment were killed; 25 others suffered from shock and minor injuries, but only two were detained in hospital. The train attendant., JJ. Bond, was also injured, he was in the rearmost coach, and directly it emerged from the tunnel he made-his way to the brake compartment; he was about to apply the vacuum brake when the coach overturned."

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