Paddington Train Disaster: Gretna Green's crash left 227 dead in 1915

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The Independent Online

BRITAIN'S WORST train crash was on 22 May 1915, when a wooden troop train and a passenger train collided at Gretna Green, killing 227.

BRITAIN'S WORST train crash was on 22 May 1915, when a wooden troop train and a passenger train collided at Gretna Green, killing 227.

The worst accident of recent years was the Clapham Junction crash in south London on 12 December 1988, in which 35 people died. The accident, involving three morning rush-hour trains, was the first of a series of disasters to hit British Rail. On Saturday 4 March 1989, five died and more than 90 were injured when two trains collided outside Purley, Croydon.

Two days later in Glasgow, two suburban electric trains collided head- on on a single track and two people died. On 30 November that year 15 people were injured when two InterCity expresses collided outside Newcastle upon Tyne Central station.

In September 1997, seven died and 150 were injured in an accident at Southall, west London. A public inquiry is continuing into that. Most recently, in June this year 31 passengers were injured after a London- to-Glasgow express smashed into the back of a stationary train in Cheshire. The driver was hailed as a hero for action preventing a worse crash.

In earlier accidents, a train driver was killed and 35 people injured in August 1990 at Stafford station. Some months later two passengers died and more than 240 were injured after a train ran into buffers at Cannon Street, in central London. Soon after four died and 22 were injured at Newton, near Glasgow.

In December 1991, 102 were injured when two trains bound for Cardiff collided in the tunnel under the Severn. British Rail admitted there had been a major signalling fault.

Other major accidents include: 49 killed and 78 hurt at Hither Green, south London, in November 1967; 90 killed and 173 hurt at Lewisham, south London, in December 1965; and 112 killed and 340 hurt in a train crash at Harrow and Wealdstone, in north-west London, in October 1952.

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