In 1952, a total of 108 passengers and four rail crew members were killed and nearly 340 people were injured in a three train crash at Harrow, a suburb of NW London. It was the country’s worst peacetime rail crash.
The accident took place at 0820 GMT when a London-bound express train from Perth ploughed into the back of the 0731 GMT Tring to Euston commuter train as it was about to leave the Harrow and Wealdstone station. Just seconds later, a third express train from Euston crashed into the wreckage.
There were approximately 1,000 passengers aboard the three trains in total, with most of the casualties at the rear of the Tring commuter train and the front coaches of the two express trains.
Some of the crash victims – killed and wounded – were on the platform, as carriages full of commuters were hurled onto them. Others were killed on a footbridge over the track that was punctured by a pile of coaches nine metres high.
It emerged that the driver of the 2015 GMT sleeper train from Perth had passed two signals at danger when it ran into the Tring to Euston commuter at about 60 mph (97 km/h).
The mayor of Harrow, Councillor John Branch unveiled a memorial plaque at Harrow and Wealdstone station to mark the 50th anniversary of the tragedy on 8 October 2002.