The Wembley crash, Thursday October 11th 1984
The recent Harrow dewirement saw much negative press for the WCML especially when London Euston was closed to all traffic to get the wires fixed for a complete Sunday morning.
The nasty fatal Wembley crash in October 84 was a much more serious incident yet the trains just about kept running with the “DC” lines very much saving the day. The DF was reopened less than 24 hours after the crash, the up slow reopened a furthur 24 hours later.
Such a crash today, heaven forbid, would probably see the WCML and DC shut for a week, such is progress….
4D62 1600 Willesden – Holyhead liners headed by 86006 (with 85035 dit) was leaving Wembley Yard when it was hit at 60mph by 310067 and 310086 on the DS working 2A85 1754 Euston – Bletchley.
The impact caused the 2 lead coaches of 310067 to topple over onto the DF with the third leaning over the UF. Fortunately WM power box managed to stop any more passing traffic colliding with the derailed trains. Railway Gazette editor Richard Hope was commuting home on this service and commendably leapt out to protect the tracks with track circuit clips.
Unfortunately 3 passengers died in the collision and 18 injured but these all later recovered. The liner train composed of 20 loaded Freightliner wagons was delayed due to a late running portion from the GE but was signalled out from the yard. The 11th vehicle of the liner was hit by the 310’s with 5 Freightliner vehicles derailed. The casualties were highest in the lead 2 vehicles of 310067 as these toppled over although all vehicles of the 310’s except the very rear coach were derailed.
The badly damaged lead car of 310067 after righting at Wembley Central on October 12th 1984, 24 hours after the unit had toppled over in the collision.
The accident report hints at the 310 driver being in error for the collision (the 310 having passed a red),he was a local man too. The Railway as detailed above reacted well with the DF being reopened at 1822 the following day, the US on October 13th with the UF and DS being reopened on October 14th and 15th respectively.
As a memorial to the Wembley crash RM advises 3 trees were planted in down fast cess/embankment with a small brass plaque to commemorate those who died.This was just south of Wembley Central DF platform opposite the collision point. Can anybody confirm the small memorial is still there?
Passengers were kept moving by extra trains on the “DC” and extensive diversions into St Pancras and Paddington.
25176} 1P49 1915 Euston – Carlisle (dragging electric via DC lines to Watford Jn) 111084
56066 1M42 1020 Inverness – Euston diverted BNS-Padd 111084
25235 1A01 0030 Manchester – Euston (dragged Acton Canal Wharf – WN) 121084
25315 1M05 0910 Glasgow – Euston (dragged Acton Canal Wharf – WN) 121084
45137 Manchester – Euston (diverted to St Pancras) 121084
45072 1600 St Pancras – Manchester (diverted WCML service) 121084
47098 1A78 1620 Holyhead – Euston (Diverted from Nuneaton to Padd) 121084
47233 1215 St Pancras – Manchester (diverted WCML service) 121084
56066 various WCML diversions into Padd 121084
47365 0850 Padd – Wolves (diverted WCML service) 131084
56088 0625 Wolves – Padd (diverted WCML service) 131084
310067 was returned to service 6 months or so later and survived until April 01 in service.