Reproduction of a 1960's British Rail Poster. The Flying Scotsman derailed 26 October 1947 killing 28 people.
Reproduction of a 1960's British Rail Poster. The Flying Scotsman derailed 26 October 1947 killing 28 people.
National Railway Museum - Source
License: Copyright

Goswick Rail Crash

The Goswick rail crash occurred on 26 October 1947 near the village of Goswick, Northumberland, England. The Flying Scotsman express from Edinburgh Waverley to London Kings Cross failed to slow down for a diversion and derailed. 28 people were killed. It was the last major accident to occur on British railways before their nationalisation on 1 January 1948.

The train was scheduled to divert from the main fast line to a goods loop at Goswick, Northumberland, between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Morpeth, because of engineering work on the fast line. However, the driver failed to respond to the signals in advance of the diversion and took the 15 mph restricted turnout at approximately 60 mph. The engine, A3 Class No. 66 "Merry Hampton", and most of the train derailed and overturned.

The driver, fireman and guard had all, for various reasons, failed to read the notice of the diversion posted at Haymarket depot. The driver, who was held principally at fault, had also taken an unauthorised passenger on to the footplate who may have distracted his attention. He claimed to have missed the distant signal due to smoke from the engine obscuring his view. The home signal was at clear to allow the train to draw up slowly to the points; the signalman could not judge the speed of the train until it was too late, and was exonerated of any blame.

Twenty-one persons were killed, including an Australian soldier who died in hospital, when an Edinburgh-London express was derailed at Goswick, a hamlet in Northumberland, early yesterday.

It is estimated the 70 people were injured in the smash but about 200 escaped unhurt and were taken to Beal Station to continue their journey in another train