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Norton Fitzwarren train crash in 1940

Norton Fitzwarren train crash in 1940


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Norton Fitzwarren train crash in 1940

On the night of November 4th 1940 locomotive No. 6028 King George VI left Paddington Station hauling thirteen coaches heading for Penzance. As the train was nearing Norton Fitzwarren in Somerset the train was switched from the main line to a relief line to allow a newspaper train to pass by. Due to the misreading of signals, exacerbated by blackout conditions, the driver of the passenger train did not realise he had been diverted to a relief line and began to accelerate in order to make up for time lost previously in the journey. He realised his mistake when the newspaper train overtook him on the main line to the right and immediately shut the regulator and applied the brake. But it was too late and the packed train, carrying 900 passengers, derailed at the catch point.
27 people were killed in the crash, including the fireman. 56 passengers were injured. The driver incredibly survived. The engine and the first 7 coaches derailed, whilst the last 6 amazingly stayed upright. This image shows soldiers from the Royal Pioneer Corps who carried out the rescue work and helped to clear the wreckage

Media ID 19936561

© STEAM Museum of the GWR

Accident King Somerset World War 2


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