Train crash hor­ror

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Nigel Thorn­ton nigel.thorn­ton@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ Twit­ter: @PTnigelthorn­ton 01733 588714

Peter­bor­ough is a proud rail­way city and a key stop on the East Coast main line, one of the most im­por­tant transport links in the coun­try.

Thou­sands of trains pass through the city each year and thank­fully most do so safely.

A re­cent re­port which high­lighted an in­ci­dent at F let­ton junc­tion when a speed­ing train led to four peo­ple suf­fer­ing mi­nor in­juries shows we can never be com­pla­cent.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors con­cluded there could have been a se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent with a pos­si­ble de­rail­ment.

On Septem­ber 1, 1955 a train did de­rail just north of West­wood Bridge with to­day’ s dra­matic pic­tures show­ing the af­ter­math.

The 3.50pm Kings Cross to Leeds pas­sen­ger train was leav­ing Peter­bor­ough North Sta­tion at just af­ter 5.20 pm when its front bo­gie frame broke. The lo­co­mo­tive de­railed with its two front coaches fall­ing onto their sides.

For­tu­nately, the train had only reached 20mph and the low speed was cited as there ason why there were no deaths.

In to­tal five peo­ple were hurt, with four need­ing hos­pi­tal treate­ment.

The nearby Baker Perkins’ works fire brigade and am­bu­lance vol­un­teers turned out to the emer­gency. They cut a hole in the line­side fence through which lad­ders and blan­kets were passed. The pas­sen­gers were pro­vided with tea in the works can­teen.

Re­mark­ably, the track was cleared and the main line was open to traf­fic by 9.20am the next day.

An of­fi­cial Min­istry of Transport re­port into the ac­ci­dent was writ­ten by Lt Col GR S Wil­son.

He noted: “The de­rail­ment of the bo­gie wheels was no­ticed at once by Driver A. B. Bar­ringer who promptly made a full ap­pli­ca­tion of the vac­uum brake and closed the reg­u­la­tor.

“The de­rail­ment then spread rapidly back­ward to all wheels of the en­gine and ten­der, and all the wheels of the two lead­ing coaches and the lead­ing pair of wheels of the 3rd coach were de­railed as the track was bro­ken up. The other 10 coaches re­mained on the rails.”

If you have any me­mories of the crash please get in touch.

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