At about 7.30 on a dark and rainy morning, an empty 3-car class 104 DMU was wrongly routed along an Up and Down Goods line and came into collision at 18-20mph with a train of vans which had been left without a tail lamp. The leading van drove the front of the DMU upwards and backwards, completely demolishing the cab. The leading vehicle (53426) was so severely buckled that it was scrapped. As a result of the impact, the guard was killed and the driver sustained a broken right ankle, severe bruising and head injuries which required 16 stitches.
Whilst the main cause of the accident was failure of the shunter to fix a lit tail lamp to the rear of the stationary train, the fact that the signalman wrongly routed the train also contributed to the accident in that the driver of the train could reasonably have expected the line to be clear. Although the reports plays down this last point, it could be argued that this was indeed the primary cause of the accident in that the collision would not have occurred had train been routed correctly in the first place).
DOT; b/c; 10pp; f/o track and signalling layout, photo of demolished DMU cab, relevant extracts from Rules and Regulations, sketch of the switch panel for Signal LR85. (R.E.I. Turner).