Lagny-Pomponne Railroad Disaster

The worst rail tragedy in France's peacetime history occurred on the night of 23 December 1933 near Lagny, about seventeen miles east of Paris.

The Paris-Strasbourg flyer, speeding in a thick fog at sixty-five miles per hour, crashed into the read of the halted Nancy express. Both trains were crowded with holiday passengers. The Nancy train was using old wooden coaches to help alleviate overcrowding by Christmas travelers on the French railways. Four of the wooden coaches were telescoped and reduced to splinters by the high-speed oncoming locomotive; the tracks were strewn with the dead and dying. Nearly all of the occupants of these four cars were killed instantly.

The Lagny-Pomponne Railroad Disaster was a train disaster that happened on December 23, 1933 between Pomponne and Lagny-sur-Marne, twenty kilometers east of Paris, when the 4-8-2 locomotive of the express for Strasbourg crashed at 110 km the end of the extra train for Nancy which was stopped on the railway, destroying the five last wood cars. At this time of the year, both trains were full of people going in their family for Christmas. 204 people died and 120 were injured. It is the worst railroad disaster in French history after the Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne railroad disaster in 1917.

Lagny, France 23 December 1933. The Paris - Strasbourg Express 25 bis left Paris close behind the Paris - Nancy train which had been severely delayed due to the foggy conditions that prevailed that evening. Near Lagny, about 17 miles (23Km) from Paris, the Strasbourg express having overun signals, ploughed into the rear of the Nancy train. The resulting carnage was one of France's worst rail disasters.