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Accidents involving NSR trains on the NSR and elsewhere

Year Date Place Summary
1854 Jun 27th Harecastle An accident involving an LNWR train.
1854   Longport  
1854   Leek  
1858 Jan 18th Norton Bridge An NSR departing passenger train, comprising two composites, one second and one break van, ran into the back of a goods train which was still standing on the down line, after being somewhat tardy in clearing that line.
1860 Dec 26th Weston A broken tyre on a vehicle of the 6.55 p.m. Colwich to Stoke train caused the derailment. The train was hauled by a tender locomotive and consisted of a composite, a second, a third and a break-van, and the wheel failure occurred on the second class carriage. The fault was attributed to the practice of rivetting tyres rather than using "any one of the good methods which are now carried into practice".
1861 Jun 21st Burton The 7.05 p.m. Burton to Tutbury train, comprised a guards van, a composite and a second class carriage. The engine was No. 8, originally a Hick 2-4-0 tender loco, rebuilt in 1851 as six-wheeled single tank engine specifically to work the Tutbury to Burton branch. It had 14" x 22" o/s cylinders and 5' 6" driving wheels. The accident was due to an unstable loco travelling at speed over indifferent track which collapsed under the train. Sadly driver, fireman and guard died from their injuries.

Accident Report
1864 Dec 27th Congleton The 10.49 train from Congleton to Stoke via the Biddulph line was hit by "an LNWR pilot engine", running at speed. The NSR train was stationary at Congleton Upper Junction whilst its train engine was running round prior to descending to the Biddulph line. The driver of the pilot engine said that he was unable to see the signal at danger because of fog.

Accident Report
1867 Jan 25th North Rode Two waggons standing in the down loop (plus two other waggons from the goods train) were shunted, by the Froghall to Stoke and Colwich goods train, onto the up main line. These waggons were then hit by a passenger train which had left Macclesfield (for Stoke) at 5.40 p.m. This train was hauled by a tender engine and comprised one second, two composites and a guard's van.

Accident Report
1868 Dec 30th Stockport Station The 2.35 p.m. service from Manchester to Stafford, comprising an NSR tender loco, seven carriages and one break-van, ran into standing vehicles in the platform road at Stockport station. The standing vehicles comprised a pair of LNWR engines, which were behind a 40 waggon LNWR goods train from Leeds to Liverpool. The NSR train had over-run signals on the approach to Stockport. There were conflicting reports of the events which varied according to the company employing the witness.
1871 Jul 20th Burslem (Longport) A Manchester to Stafford LNWR service was derailed south of Burslem station after having run over a tow-rope (about 2" in diameter), used in connection with horse-shunting. The eleven vehicle train was hauled by an NSR tender engine and comprised an NSR van and two composites (NSR), for Stafford, two composites for Birmingham, and a van, three composites, a van and one composite (all LNW) for London.

Accident Report
1871 Nov 13th Longton Shunting engines pushes waggons out on to main line. Shunting engine then moves off north for further work. Waggons return to the sidings "two waggons (by the aid of gravity) ran past the guard, then a third, and then came three altogether, the yardsman with them, running with the break handle of the last in his hand". Unfortunately a solitary wagon had remained on the main line and this was run into by the Crewe to Derby train which had left Stoke at 6.59 p.m.(12 minutes late). The train comprised engine, tender, four carriages and a break-van.

Accident Report
1872 Jan 20th Harecastle See Journal No. 1. Collision of two mineral trains at Bidder's Sidings.

Accident Report
1872 Feb 21st Stoke Station The 9.40 p.m. Newcastle to Stoke train, comprising a tank engine, a third class break-van, one third, one first, one second class carriage and a third class break-van, standing in the up platform at the station, was run into, at slow speed, by an up LNWR goods train comprising an engine and tender, thirty loaded waggons and a break-van. The signals were "all right for the goods train", which failed to stop in time on seeing the tail-lights of the passenger train. Recommendations were made about the signalling of the station. The report into this accident was famous for observing that the signalmen were too comfortable in their high-backed chairs.

Accident Report
1872 Aug 14th Cheddleton Junction The 11.30 a.m. Stoke to Leek train derailed on facing points to a siding, 500 yards on the Stoke side of Cheddleton Junction. This loop had been used previously by a Froghall to Stoke mineral train and the junction had also been successfully negotiated by a Burton to Stoke goods train. The passenger train driver noticed that the points were half set but was unable to stop in time. The passenger train comprised a tank engine, a break-van, three thirds, a third class break carriage, another third, a second, a first and a third class break.
1872 Dec 26th Macclesfield The 9.20 a.m. Uttoxeter to Manchester train comprising engine, tender, guard's van, five thirds, one composite, one third, two composites, two thirds, and a guard's van ran through a signal at danger which was protecting a cross-over and collided with run-away waggons, derailing and damaging five of them. The waggons had come from the shunting of an LNWR goods train, comprising salt waggons, which was taking place on the up line. The break-van had been detached. A coupling between salt waggons broke and 10 waggons ran away, colliding with the standing break-van, propelling it and themselves through a cross-over and onto the down line.
1873 Jul 16th Biddulph A Congleton to Stoke goods train hauled by one of the two Robert Stephenson-built 0-6-0STs (No. 57, previously 68), derailed in the vicinity of Blackamoor Bridge. The cause of the accident was excessive speed, though the inquest jury also questioned the construction of the engine. (This may have been a reference to the large overhangs at front and rear - over 5' and nearly 8', respectively). The train comprised 5 empty wagons and a brake van. The fireman was killed and the driver died in hospital a few days later from his injuries.
1873 Sep 26th Lawton Junction See Journal No. 14
1875 Feb Barlaston  
1875 Nov 1st Bollington A collision between an MSLR goods train and a loaded wagon.
1876 Aug 17th Crewe The 6.35 p.m. Derby to Crewe train ran into an NSR goods train being shunted by an LNWR goods engine at the NSR's sidings at Crewe (about 1/2 mile east of the station). The passenger train comprised an engine, tender, a third, a composite, two thirds, a break van and two composites. the driver mis-read signals and ran into goods train.
1878 Dec Stoke  
1881 Apr 14th Longport The 5.15 p.m. LNWR service from Mancheter to London collided at low speed, in Longport station, with the NSR's late-running 5.25 p.m. train from Crewe to Derby The LNWR train comprised two NSR tender engines, six passenger coaches, a break van (with an NSR guard), four more passenger coaches and another break van (with an LNWR guard). The four coaches next to the central break van were fitted with the Clarke and Webb break, controlled by the driver of the second engine and by the NSR guard. The rear four coaches were fitted with a similar break controlled by the LNWR guard. The NSR train comprised a tender engine, four coaches and a break van. Station staff noticed the approaching LNWR train and so the NSR train was started before station work was completed - but this measure was insufficient to prevent the collision, which was attributed to "the neglect of the two drivers of the engines attached to the express, by not applying the breaks as soon as they ought to have done, and running past two sets of danger-signals".
1882 Mar 29th Stoke Station The 9.58 p.m. Stafford to Stoke train, comprised of a tank engine, 4 coaches and a break van, collided at low speed with a tender engine standing at a water column. No damage ensued. The driver said that he had whistled for the guard's break. Col. F.H. Rich, R.E., the Inspecting Officer, said that if the train had been fitted with continuous breaks the collision would probably not have happened.
1882 Apr 14th Marchington A break van got off the rails while a goods train was being back-shunted from the Down to the Up line to allow two passenger trains to pass. The goods train comprised an engine and tender, 33 wagons a the break van. The derailed van was fouling both lines, but it was pulled clear of the Up line. Passenger trains then used the Up line as a single line. The 11 a.m. from Derby, comprising an engine and tender, a break van, 4 passenger coaches and another break van, did not take the Up line but took the cross-over road and collided with the van which was fouling the cross-over road.
1882 Jun 5th Macclesfield At 8.45 a.m. the 7.45 a.m. MSLR train arrived, disgorged the passengersand then the engine "ran round the train and backed it along the Up line until it had passed beyond the south cross-over road". The 7.25 a.m. Stafford to Manchester train, comprised of a tank engine, two Thirds, two Composites and a break van, arrived at 8.54 after which the cross-over points were switched, the disc sgnal taken off and the empty MSLR train drawn forwards into the platformwhere it collided with the rear of the NSR train. The vacuum breaks failed on the MSLR train because "the release-valve flap was being kept open by his [the driver's] coat".
1882 Nov 21st Derby Road Crossing A fatal accident on the crossing involving two lads an a dray, which were run into by the 6.40 Down passenger train from Derby to Crewe. This train comprised a tank engine, four carriages and two break vans.
1885 Jan 16th Sideway An NSR goods train was being shunted at Stafford Coal & Iron Co's sidings at Sideway when it was run into by the LNWR's 9.15 service from Manchester to Birmingham. The goods train was en route from Norton Bridge to Macclesfield. It comprised an engine and tender, four loaded goods wagons and 42 empty coal wagons. The goods train was setting back into the sidings, protected by signals, which the LNWR train passed at danger. It is not understood why the goods train was asked to set back nor why the LNWR train was "accepted". Regretably the LNWR driver died from his injuries.
1885 Aug 3rd Chester An NSR train from Tunstall to Llandudno, under the control of an LNWR driver, was run into by the 6.00 a.m. LNWR train from St. Helens to Llandudno. The LNWR train was made up of an engine and tender, a break van, seventeen passenger coaches and another break van. The NSR train comprised an engine and tender, a break van and eighteen passenger coaches including one with a break compartment. The fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth vehicles went over onto their sides and the seventeenth to nineteenth vehicles were derailed, as were two wheels of the break van. It was decided that the signalman should have stopped the LNWR train and the LNWR train driver should have driven with more care. "If this train had been fitted with a good continuous break the collison would probably not have occurred".
1885 Nov 16th Heaton Norris An NSR engine and break van, standing 87 yards from Heaton Norris signal box, on the branch, was run into at 9.34 by the LNWR's 9.30 service from Stockport to Oldham, in the charge of tank engine no. 917, and made up of seven vehicles. The signalman simply forgot about the NSR engine and break van standing outside his box.
1886 Jan 16th Harecastle Station A signalman who broke the rules by accepting a goods train in circumstances when he should not, caused a collision between the goods train and a standing passenger train, the goods train over-running signals, unable to stop. The goods train was the 1.50 p.m. from Derby to Crewe, comprised of an engine and tender, nine loaded and fourteen empty goods waggons, fifteen mineral waggons and a break van. This train was due to pass Harecastle at 8.41 p.m. The passenger train involved was the 9.10 p.m. Harecastle to Stoke via Audley, standing at the Down platform and comprising a tank engine, Break Third, 3 x Thirds, First, Second and a Break Third. The collision occured at 9.07 p.m.
1887 May 6th Congleton Lower Junction 'D' Class no. 47, and two wagons it was pulling, left the rails and collided with the canal aqueduct, killing the driver and fireman. The subsequent investigation reported that "the engine was one of a very common class in use but that they were unsteady"! The weight was lighter on the leading than on the trailing wheels, and therefore any sudden jerk, caused by the wagons behind or by putting on steam, could cause the engine to jump the rails. The jury found that "engine No. 47 ran off the rails and was the cause of the accident".
1889 Feb 28th Harecastle The left-hand crank-pin, "made of the best Lowmoor Iron", on the leading driving wheel of NSR engine no. 55, broke. Subsequent coupling rod activity caused the engine to derail and the train split the points. Engine and carriages parted, the latter taking the loop line. The train was the 12.00 p.m. express from Manchester, comprised of the engine (and tender), and 9 LNWR carriages - 6-wheel Composite, 6-wheel Third, 6-wheel Composite, 8-wheel Break Second, 8-wheel Third, 2 x 8-wheel Composites, 8-wheel Break Third and an 8-wheel Composite.
1890 Oct 11th Uttoxeter See Journal No. 2. A runaway coal train collided with a light engine and other vehicles in Uttoxeter station; this was a damage limitation exercise as the Up main platform was occupied by a GNR train en route from Stafford to Derby.
1892 Jul 27th Uttoxeter See Journal No. 3. A breakdown in communications resulted in an engine ramming a standing passenger vehicle, with 45 passengers on board.
1897 Jul 15th Newcastle Derailment of the 5.22 p.m. Newcastle - Stoke passenger train, which split on the facing points of a siding that had no bolt or locking bar. The company were then advised to fit bolts and locking bars to all facing points. The train was comprised of a tank engine, a Break Third, 3 x 4-wheel Composites (nos. 258, 282, 257), a 6-wheel Third (131) and a 4-wheel Break Third (235).
1899 Jan 17th Congleton Engine No 48, driven by James Locker had worked the 7.30 a.m. service from Uttoxeter to Congleton, arriving at Congleton at 8.55 a.m. and due to leave ten minutes later for Normacot. On arrival at Congleton, the fireman uncoupled the loco. The loco (with the driver only on the footplate) then went forward with the engine over the cross-over road points, and then came back through the cross-over road on to the up line for the purpose of running round the train. The driver then went through the south end crossover, but due to greasy rails slipped and backed into the carriage stock on the down line at around 3 mph.
1899 Nov 18th Stoke-on-Trent A ten-coach NSR train from Blyth Bridge to Tunstall was run into by the 12.00 p.m. Euston to Manchester service made up of nine vehicles. There was only minor damage and both trains went on their way. "There was thick fog prevailing at the time of the accident, the effect of which was intensified, under the station roof, by smoke and steam". Contradictory evidence was given by the signalman and the LNWR driver with regard to the state of the signals. The vacuum-fitted NSR train was made up as follows: 2 x Thirds, Break Third, Third, Second, First, 2 x Thirds, Break Third and a Third.
1900 Jan 1st Ashbourne The NSR's 5.43 p.m. passenger service from Rocester to Asbourne (five NSR vehicles and four from the LNWR), pulled by 'B' Class No. 29, ran into the back of an empty LNWR goods train which was standing on the main line outside Ashbourne No. 1 signal box, in foggy weather.
1901 May 25th Harecastle A collision between a passenger train and a light engine. The 8.25 p.m. Stoke to Crewe train, comprising an engine, brake third, seven carriages and a luggage brake van was standing at the Crewe platform. This train was run into by a light engine proceeding from Chesterton to Alsager. Damaged stock comprised 'D' Class no. 138, 6-wheel PLV no. 185 and 6-wheel Thirds nos. 152, 372, 60 and 262.

Accident Report
1903 Nov 5th Sideway 'D' Class No. 138, hauling the 11.05 p.m. train from Stoke to Stone ran into the back of a 41 waggon plus brake van, goods train, which was moving slowly, at Sideway, in dense fog. The passenger train had run past Stoke Junction's advance starting signal, colliding at relativley low speed with the goods train, which was being pulled by 'E' Class No. 104.

Accident Report
1904 Dec 27th Biddulph The 7.13p.m. train from Congleton to Stoke via Biddulph, upon departure from Biddulph, ran into a siding, instead of taking the main line, and in so doing "collided forcibly" with empty stock in the siding, pushing it back some 30 yards. Though passengers were shaken and bruised, the stock of the passenger train was unscathed and after a slight delay the train proceeded on its way. The empty carriages were "slightly damaged". the cause of the accident was attributed to "the point being drawn close, due to the severe weather".
1905   Audley  
1921 Aug 20th Leycett 'New C' Class 0-6-4T No. 31 spreads the track on the long left-hand curve on the approach to Leycett. The accident is attributed to speed, poor track conditions and the considerably increased weight of the locomotive compared with the locomotives of Classes 'A', 'B' and 'D' usually used on the line.

Accident Report

Last updated 02/11/15.