Weedon rail crashes

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Weedon, Northamptonshire on the West Coast Main Line has been the site of two serious derailments in 1915 and 1951, killing 10 and 15 people respectively.


1915 rail crash

Weedon rail crash (1915)
Date14 August 1915
Location Weedon, Northamptonshire
Coordinates 52°13′20″N1°03′50″W / 52.22212°N 1.06387°W / 52.22212; -1.06387
Line West Coast Main Line
OperatorLondon and North Western Railway
Incident typeDerailment
CauseDetached coupling rod
List of UK rail accidents by year

On Saturday, 14 August 1915, the 08:45 Birmingham to Euston express passenger train hauled by LNWR George the Fifth Class locomotive No. 1489 lost a taper pin; its purpose was to lock a screwed collar which retained the offside coupling rod to its crank pin. The coupling rod detached and struck one of the sleepers on the up line; pushing the track out of alignment just as the 08:30 Euston to Holyhead Irish Mail train approached. It consisted of 15 coaches hauled by two locomotives LNWR Renown Class No. 1971 and Precedent Class No. 1189 and was travelling at 60 miles per hour. Both locomotives and every carriage was derailed; several being thrown down an embankment, killing 10 passengers and injuring 21 more. The approximate location of the collision was 52°13′20″N1°03′50″W / 52.22212°N 1.06387°W / 52.22212; -1.06387 between Weedon and Stowe Hill tunnel.

1951 rail crash

Weedon rail crash (1951)
Date21 September 1951
Location Weedon, Northamptonshire
Coordinates 52°13′32″N1°04′20″W / 52.22559°N 1.07219°W / 52.22559; -1.07219
Line West Coast Main Line
Operator British Railways
Incident typeDerailment
CauseJammed axlebox
List of UK rail accidents by year

On Friday, 21 September 1951 the 08:20 Liverpool Lime Street to London Euston passenger service consisting of 15 coaches hauled by a Princess class Stanier Pacific [1] began to de-rail south of Weedon, Northamptonshire, on the West Coast Main Line south of Rugby, at a speed of 65 mph and finally crashed, killing 15 people and injuring 35 more. The footplate crew survived and protected their train in spite of being severely shocked.

The accident enquiry, conducted by Lt Col G R S Wilson, found the track to be in good condition and the speed of the train not to be excessive. However this was the first trip out for the locomotive, No 46207 Princess Arthur of Connaught after its bogie wheelsets had been swapped round. The enquiry concluded that the derailment was caused by an excessively tight bogie axlebox. [2] The approximate location of the collision was 52°13′32″N1°04′20″W / 52.22559°N 1.07219°W / 52.22559; -1.07219 , less than a mile south-east of the 1915 derailment and close to the signal-box at Heyford south of Stowe Hill tunnel where the occupants were able to see the accident.

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  1. Reade, Lewis (1986). "Disaster at Weedon". Back Track. No. (Special Introductory Issue). Atlantic Transport Publishers. pp. XXXIV–XXXVII. ISSN   0955-5382. OCLC   226007088.
  2. "1951 rail disaster at Weedon - includes picture and track diagram" . Retrieved 21 November 2008.