|2002 Potters Bar rail crash|
|Date||10 May 2002 |
|Location||Potters Bar, Hertfordshire|
|Coordinates||51°41′49″N0°11′38″W / 51.697°N 0.194°W Coordinates: 51°41′49″N0°11′38″W / 51.697°N 0.194°W|
|Line||East Coast Main Line|
|Operator||West Anglia Great Northern|
|Cause||Points failure (moved while train was passing over them)|
|List of UK rail accidents by year|
There have been four railway accidents at Potters Bar (England). Those in 1898 and 1946 were signals passed at danger. The accident in 2002 led to substantial public debate and a national change in policy relating to maintenance of infrastructure.
On 19 March 1898, the 7:50 p.m train from Hatfield to King's Cross ran past the signals at danger when it reached Potters Bar. The train cut through the catch points and buffers and crashed onto the platform. The front part of the engine was smashed and the leading coach wrecked. No one was killed. The driver, fireman and guard narrowly escaped injury. Some passengers complained of being shaken but were able to go home.  
On 16 May 1899 the Earl of Strafford was killed at Potters Bar railway station when he was hit by an express train. He appeared from witnesses to step in front of the train from the bottom of the slope at the end of the platform; he was carried for 50 yards (46 m).  The coroner's court investigated his medical conditions, as he was prone to catalepsy. The possibility of suicide was also considered. A finding of suicide would have had substantial social and legal implications. The jury returned a verdict that the death was due to misadventure. 
On 10 February 1946, a local passenger train travelling towards Kings Cross hit buffers at Potters Bar station. Derailed carriages fouled the main lines. Two express trains travelling in opposite directions then hit the wreckage. Two passengers were killed and the 17 injured were taken to hospital. The driver of the local train was found to have misidentified a poorly-placed main-line signal as applying to his own line. It was thought probable that he had been misled by the signal applying to his line showing clear when he first saw it (though changing against him shortly afterwards). The signalman was found to have contributed to the accident by changing a set of points as the train passed over them.  [lower-alpha 1]
On 10 May 2002, a northbound train derailed at high speed, killing seven and injuring 76.  Part of the train ended up wedged between the station platforms and building structures.
A West Anglia Great Northern train service left King's Cross station at 12:45 heading for King's Lynn in Norfolk, via Cambridge. At 12:55, travelling at 97 mph (156 km/h), the four-coach Class 365 Electric multiple unit (unit number: 365526) passed over a set of points "2182A" just south of Potters Bar railway station. The points moved under the train,  causing the rear bogie of the third coach  and the entire fourth carriage to derail. This caused the fourth coach to become detached and cross onto the adjacent line where it flipped into the air. The momentum threw the carriage into the station, where one end of the carriage struck Darkes Lane bridge parapet,  destroying the masonry and sending debris onto the road below. It then mounted the platform and slid along before coming to rest under the platform canopy at 45 degrees. The front three coaches remained on the tracks, and came to a stop approximately 400 metres north of the station due to an automatic application of the brakes. 
Six of the victims were travelling in the train, while a seventh, Agnes Quinlivan, was killed by the masonry falling from the bridge over Darkes Lane.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report released in May 2003 found that the points were poorly maintained and that this was the principal cause of the accident.  The bolts that held the stretcher bars that maintain the distance between the two point blades had come loose or gone missing, causing the point blades to move apart when the train passed over them. The points had been fully inspected on 1 May by a team working for the private railway maintenance firm Jarvis plc and there had been a further visual inspection on 9 May the day before the crash, with no problems reported.[ citation needed ]
However, that evening, a WAGN station announcer was travelling on the down fast line  and reported a "rough ride"  at Potters Bar whilst going over that same place on the track, points "2182A". A Railtrack engineering supervisor  was sent to make an inspection, but due to an apparent misunderstanding by the Kings Cross signal box staff,  he was sent to the wrong line, the up fast line,  to check the track and points[ citation needed ] and did not find the "loose nuts" that subsequently led to the accident.
Initially after the accident, Jarvis claimed that the points' poor condition was due to sabotage of some sort,  and that its maintenance was not to blame. No solid evidence of any sabotage has ever come to light, and the HSE report found that other sets of points in the Potters Bar area showed similar, less-serious maintenance deficiencies and the poor state of maintenance "probably arose from a failure to understand fully the design and safety requirements".
Further investigations by the HSE found that heavy and constant vibrations on the stretcher bars and their bolts caused them in turn to vibrate and oscillate until their nuts fell off the bolts. These have since been replaced by two-part locking nuts instead of the main nuts having half-size locking nuts to hold them in place.
In November 2010, the Office of Rail Regulation said Network Rail and Jarvis Rail would be charged under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The case was heard at Watford Magistrates' Court in February 2011.
The tragedy sparked a debate about whether private maintenance firms were paying too little attention to training and safety. In 2003, Network Rail announced it was taking all track maintenance in-house, ending the use of private contractors except for large-scale renewal or development projects. 
On 28 April 2004, Jarvis sent a letter to the victims' families, admitting liability for the accident. The company said that it would formally accept "legally justified claims" after making a financial provision of £3,000,000. 
In the letter Kevin Hyde, chief executive, wrote:
In the aftermath of the crash, when Jarvis was under great pressure to explain itself, we were drawn into a debate about the possible causes of the crash. On behalf of the company and my colleagues, I would like to apologise for the hurt and anger our actions in responding caused.
A circular memorial plate was erected on platform 3 of the station, dedicated to the seven fatalities of the Potters Bar crash.
On 13 May 2011, Network Rail was fined £3 million for safety failings related to the crash. 
Except for Agnes Quinlivan, a nearby pedestrian, all other fatalities were in the rear carriage of the train.
The town of Morpeth in Northumberland, England, has what is reputed to be the tightest curve of any main railway line in Britain. The track turns approximately 98° from a northwesterly to an easterly direction immediately west of Morpeth Station on an otherwise fast section of the East Coast Main Line railway. This was a major factor in three serious derailments between 1969 and 1994. The curve has a permanent speed restriction of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h).
Bexley railway station is in the London Borough of Bexley in south-east London, in Travelcard Zone 6. It is 13 miles 69 chains (22.3 km) down the line from London Charing Cross. The station, and all trains serving it, is operated by Southeastern.
The Norton Fitzwarren rail crash occurred on 4 November 1940 between Taunton and Norton Fitzwarren in the English county of Somerset, when the driver of a train misunderstood the signalling and track layout, causing him to drive the train through a set of points and off the rails at approximately 40mph. 27 people were killed. The locomotive involved was GWR King Class GWR 6028 King Class King George VI which was subsequently repaired and returned to service. A previous significant accident occurred here on 10 November 1890 and the Taunton train fire of 1978 was also within 2 miles.
The Sutton Coldfield train crash took place at about 16:13 on 23 January 1955 in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, when an express passenger train traveling from York to Bristol, derailed due to excessive speed on a sharp curve.
The Ealing rail crash was an accident on the British railway system that occurred on 19 December 1973. The 17:18 express train from London Paddington to Oxford—with approximately 650 passengers on board—was derailed while travelling at around 70 mph (110 km/h) between Ealing Broadway and West Ealing. Ten passengers were killed and 94 were injured, and it was Britain's deadliest train crash of the decade until the Moorgate tube crash which killed 45. The cause of the accident was an unsecured maintenance door that had fallen open whilst the train was travelling, after having struck several lineside objects, it struck a Point machine at Longfield Avenue, derailing the entire train.
The Spa Road Junction rail crash was an accident on the British railway system which occurred during the peak evening rush hour of 8 January 1999 at Spa Road Junction in Bermondsey, in South East London.
There have been a number of train accidents on the railway network of Victoria, Australia. Some of these are listed below.
The railways of New South Wales, Australia have had many incidents and accidents since their formation in 1831. There are close to 1000 names associated with rail-related deaths in NSW on the walls of the Australian Railway Monument in Werris Creek. Those killed were all employees of various NSW railways. The details below include deaths of employees and the general public.
The Grantham rail accident occurred on 19 September 1906. An evening Sleeping-Car and Mail train of the Great Northern Railway, running from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley hauled by Ivatt 'Atlantic' No 276 derailed, killing 14. The accident was never explained; the train ran through Grantham station, where it was scheduled to stop, and derailed on a set of points on a sharp curve at the end of the platform, which at the time had been set for a freight train. No reason was ever established as to why the train did not stop as scheduled, or obey the Caution and Danger signals.
The Audenshaw Junction rail accident occurred on the evening of 20 May 1970 near Guide Bridge railway station, Greater Manchester, England. A Class 506 electric multiple unit train from Manchester Piccadilly to Hadfield had started away from a signal when a set of points moved underneath the train, causing it to be derailed and throwing the centre carriage onto its side. Two passengers were killed and 13 were injured.
The Grayrigg derailment was a fatal railway accident that occurred at approximately 20:15 GMT on 23 February 2007, just to the south of Grayrigg, Cumbria, in the North West England region of the United Kingdom. The accident investigation concluded that the derailment was caused by a faulty set of points on the Down Main running line, controlled from Lambrigg ground frame. The scheduled inspection on 18 February 2007 had not taken place and the faults had gone undetected.
Jarvis plc was a British company that specialised in construction and civil engineering, with a focus on support services to the British railway industry during its latter years of operations.
The Settle rail crash was a railway accident that occurred at Langcliffe near Settle, England, on the night of 21 January 1960 in which two trains collided, killing five people and injuring eight more.
On 12 July 2013, a train crash occurred in the commune of Brétigny-sur-Orge in the southern suburbs of Paris, France, when a passenger train carrying 385 people derailed and hit the station platform. Seven people were killed and there were 428 injuries.