Earth Fault!

Apologies for the pretty inadequate image good quality, but this upload is about the derailment relatively than photography. Not one of my pics, but I was on this train when it derailed, sat at the window driving the open doorway in reality. If ever there was a day I want I’d had a camera with me this was it, but I have had to make do with this pretty inadequate scan of a newspaper slicing.

This was the scene on Wednesday 25th March 1992 when the train I was travelling house on at the close of a evening shift turned derailed though travelling at about 50mph above pointwork close to Bickley Junction at about 08:18 that early morning.

This was the 0750ish from Victoria to Ramsgate or Dover (won’t be able to remember which at the minute) by using Chatham.

Doing work a week of 12-hour evenings (1930-0730) in the RfD Control at Paddington that week, I had nodded off somewhere involving Victoria and Bromley South and was woken violently from my slumbers when the bogie I was travelling right away over leapt from the rails of the Down Chatham Gradual and crossed violently on to the Up Line, ripping up monitor and lineside devices as it banged and lurched forward.

Almost everything transpired as if in gradual motion and I can remember specially two things as we lurched and crashed onward – very first, mounting concern above the approaching supports of the bridge which carried the South Japanese Most important Line above the Chatham Most important Line at this place (just obvious at the right-hand side of the picture), and secondly concern also for quite a few P.Way adult men who have been stood on the Up Gradual as this carriage approached sideways-on, churning up monitor, ballast and clouds of dust as it headed immediately for them.

My worst fears have been thankfully not realised in both instances – the P.Way chaps crossed properly to the Up Side cess by crossing the Quick Strains, and the train came to a halt right before hanging the bridge supports – which was good!

With those fears receding as the train was coming to rest, the up coming stress was the opportunity that a train could possibly be approaching on the Down Quick which the section of the train I was in was now foul of.

The aforementioned P.Way gangers had the great existence of thoughts under the situation to by now be managing in every direction to test to cease any traffic which may well be transferring on the adjacent lines. Fortuitously there was very little in the vicinity, and it was time for the dust to settle.

Time to evacuate the train, but not with out due care for the likely check re-energisation of the third rail just after a tripping. Certain plenty of, though I was at the doorway of the device (on the other side) considering my alternatives there was a bang, flash, and one more cloud of dust and flying ballast as it was duly re-energised and tripped back again out once again! A look back again towards Bickley Jn located a trail of destruction in our wake, which include a gas cylinder blazing properly from its outlet valve.

A different thing I am going to under no circumstances neglect is the glimpse on the driver’s facial area as he walked back again to investigate. I encountered him as he was strolling along the concrete troughing under the bridge at the minute he very first observed the devastation: “What the f*****g hell’s transpired below” I believe that his phrases have been…..

For me, and the few travellers on board, it was up on to the concrete system of the electrical substation to get out of the way and await developments. It was not significantly for a longer time right before the air crammed with the sound of crisis providers sirens and a substantial fleet of ambulances and fireplace engines converged on Chislehurst signal box (around driving the photographer in this image).

Soon after a verify-up by ambulance personnel I was given a raise to Grove Park in an ambulance and then ongoing on my journey house by using Hither Inexperienced and Dartford to Gillingham. Home indoors and in mattress by about 2pm to get up at 5pm for one more journey to London (this time by using Dartford) and one more 12-hour evening shift.

I have under no circumstances been capable to monitor down a duplicate of the accident report and would dearly really like to, along with any greater pictures, but I suppose the existence of this kind of pics is probably fairly not likely now.

As a consequence I will not know the cause for this derailment, while the ‘grapevine’ at the time indicated that some devices had been pinching cabling hooked up to a place motor for some time and that this had inevitably led to a circuit getting erroneously concluded and the points shifting when the coach I was travelling in was managing above the points – the primary bogie taking the proper line, and the trailing bogie seeking to cross above to the Down Quick.

It would be excellent to monitor down a appropriate accident report and obtain out what seriously transpired.

Update No1 (twentieth July 2009):
More to my ramblings over, I believe I have located a reference on-line to an incident in the Bickley area at: www.independent.co.british isles/news/british isles/strike-curbs-could-adhere to-r… which suggests small extra than the Driver was held responsible, and suggests the day as getting Thursday 8th September 1994.

Update No two (twenty eighth July 2009):
Getting spoken to the ORR (Workplace of the Rail Regulator) I have now had verbal tips that this incident occurred at roughly 08:18 on Wednesday 25th March 1992, and was indeed prompted by an S&T-linked specialized defect. It looks that there was not a formal investigation into this derailment but the ORR are wanting at their archives to see if they hold any further more information and facts.

Update No.3 (twentieth Oct 2009):
The only information and facts held by the ORR is as follows:

“There have been derailments at Bickley (SR) London , exactly where an incorrect structure of place detection wiring had not been identified and corrected regardless of a exclusive verify. As a consequence an EMU was derailed just after an obstruction had stopped a place blade from transferring”

A person of five reportable incidents prompted by ‘wrong-side signalling devices failures’ in 1992, the other individuals stated getting at Aberdeen, Marylebone, Craigendoran and Rayleigh.

Posted by A J Veitch on 2009-07-19 14:forty three:22

Tagged: , Earth Fault , Derailment , Bickley Junction , Chislehurst , 4-CEP , Network South East , Class 411 EMU , Late house from do the job , 1514 , 411514 , Wednesday 25th March 1992 , Derailed , Derail , NSE , Off the road , Please make clear , British isles Class 411 , Eisenbahn , Railroad , Chemin de fer , Trein , Various Unit