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DMU Accidents

DMUs have had their fair share of mishaps through the years and this section is an attempt to document them.

If you have any notes or photographs please submit them to be added here. I would also welcome further information on any of the accidents featured here.

Many of the accident reports are available on-line at


28/01/70 - Dowdyke Bank Level Crossing, between Spalding and Boston, ER

Collision involving Class 114 / Road Tanker

Info from Peter Mullen

A tanker traversing the crossing was struck by the DMU (50020 & 56020) travelling at 50mph. More Details.

19/10/70 - Near Glasgow Central, ScR

Collision involving Class 126 / EMU

Info from Peter Mullen

The 12:10 Glasgow Central to Gourock passed signals at danger and was in a sidelong collision with the late-running 12:00 Glasgow Central to Ayr DMU. More Details.

24/12/70 - Upper Denton Public Level Crossing, ER

Collision involving DMU / Car

Info from Peter Mullen

A car skidded on the crossing, coming to rest obstructing the railway line. With the driver and passenger well clear, it was struck by a DMU, derailing the leading bogie. More Details.

Damaged 50046

1971? - (Location Unknown)

Collsion involving Class 114 / Oil Train

Info from Andrew Parr

E50046 is seen at Doncaster Carr on 4/3/71 after colliding with a derailed oil train. Details of incident unknown. Image by Andrew Parr.

09/05/71 - Bescar Lane, LMR

Fire involving Class 110

An electrical fire gutting the leading car and the leading end of the adjacent trailer car sustained similar damage. More Details.

Damaged 50946

8/5/72 - Chester General Station, LMR

Collision and Fire involving Class 108 / Class 24

An oil train ran away and crashed in the station. More Details.

30/8/73 - Shields Jct (Glasgow), ScR

Collision involving Class 126 / EMU

Info from Bill Read

21:35 Wemyss Bay to Glasgow Central passed a signal at danger at Shields Junction at ran into the back of the 21:10 Ayr to Glasgow Central, formed Sc51017/Sc59398/Sc51023 & Sc51033/Sc59406/Sc51011. Serious damage, 5 fatalities and many injuries. The leading car of the Class 303 EMU, SC75857, impacted with the rear car of the DMU, SC51011, at 65 mph as the DMU was pulling away from a signal stop at about 15 mph. The EMU drove beneath the DMU, a fire broke out and both cars were consumed. Apart from some damage to the rear of SC59406, the other cars suffered only minor damage. The EMU had passed a red signal.

Stripped 50961

27/11/73 - Near Whitehaven, LMR

Collision involving Class 108 / Freight

Info from Peter Mullen.

Irregular blockworking allowed a DMU to run into the back of a freight train. Image shows 50961 stripped at Carlisle a few months later David Mant. More Details.

27/12/73 - Lower Darwen, LMR

Derailment involving Class 108

Info from Peter Mullen

A DMU was wrongly diverted through catch points. More Details.

23/1/74 - Pontypool Rd, WR

Derailment involving Class 120 / Class 121

Info from Peter Mullen

A Cardiff to Crewe train became derailed on catch points near Pontypool Road while working wrong line to pass a failed freight train. More Details.

15/3/74 - Whittlesea, ER

Collision involving Class 101 / Parcels Train

Info from Peter Mullen

A communication failure saw a DMU run into the back of a Parcels Train during 'Time Interval Working'. More Details.

11/6/74 - Pollokshields East Jct, ScR

Collision involving Class 116 / EMU

Info from Bill Read and Peter Mullen

A Class 116 bound for Glasgow was in a sidelong collision on crossover with a Class 311 EMU. More Details.

6/10/74 - Hitchin, ER

Collision involving DMU / Crane

A DMU hit a travelling crane

5/11/74 - Cropredy

Derailment involving Class 117

Info from Peter Mullen

The 6:54 Leamington Spa to Oxford derailed at Cropredy, after a length of rail had fractured under a preceding freight train. More Details.

January 1975 - Location unknown

Fire involving Class 127

M51629 suffered fire damage while working a football special

Luton Collision

25/6/76 - Luton, LMR

Collision involving Class 127 / Class 127

Info from Robert Frise and Bill Read

An empty stock Class 127 unit was struck on a crossover by another Class 127 unit which had passed two red signals. The latter was deflected towards the Down fast line where it was struck a glancing blow by an express passenger train hauled by a Class 45 locomotive. Minor injuries. More Details.

Damaged 50495

3/12/76 - Chivers Occupational Crossing, between Lakenheath and Shippea Hill, ER

Collision involving Class 104 / Lorry

Info from Peter Mullen

A DMU hit a lorry on a crossing. More Details.

31/12/76 - Bathgate Jct., ScR

Fire involving Class 101

The 08.04 Perth - Edinburgh DMU caught fire at Bathgate Jct, SC51540 was completely gutted and later withdrawn.

Damaged 50213

16/02/77 - Darlington, ER

Collision involving Class 101 / Deltic

Info from Jerry Glover and James Howie

50213 was struck by Deltic 55008 at Darlington on 16th February 1977 after the failure of the train brakes on the express. Full details here. It is seen at NH on 27/06/81. Jerry Glover.

30/6/77 - Newcastle Station, ER

Collision involving Class 101 / Buffer-stop

Info from Peter Mullen

A 2-car Class 101 travelling under clear signals was running into unoccupied NÂș3 Bay Platform when it failed to stop and collided with the buffer-stop. More Details.

5/9/77 - Farnley Junction, ER

Collision involving Class 124 / Class 47

Info from Bill Read

Class 124 in collision with 47 402, stationary at head of mail train. E51959-E59773-E51969-E51965. Both drivers killed. 9 passengers needed hospital treatment. E51959 suffered extensive damage and twisting of the underframe. The whole of the cab on 47 402 was destroyed. The accident was caused by a replacement relay being wired with incorrect polarity, causing the points to move out of correspondence.

8/11/77 - Napsbury, LMR

Collision involving Class 127 / Class 127

Info from Peter Mullen

A set (5C26) travelling from Bedford to St. Pancras collided at about 40mph with the rear of a St. Albans to St. Pancras empty coaching stock train (2C65) which was standing at a signal. The collision resulted in the derailment of the two leading coaches of the passenger train as well as the rear coach of the empty stock train. The driver, guard and two passengers in the passenger train were injured and taken to hospital. Both trains were 4-car Class 127 DMUs comprising of vehicles 51626, 59609, 59643 and 51641 (5C26) and 51617, 59617, 59631 and 51601 (2C65) respectively. The accident was a result of the signalman forgetting about the stationary train at the St. Albans Up Slow Starting Signal and instructing the driver of the passenger train to pass the St. Albans Inner Home signal at Danger into an already occupied section.

Oyne Derailment

12/5/78 - Near Oyne, ScR

Derailment involving Class 120

Info from Alan Binns, Mike Cooper, Peter Mullen

A road vehicle hit a railway bridge on the Aberdeen - Inverness Line, knocking it out of alignment, which was then hit by set 304 which derailed. More Details.

Doncaster Damage

1978 - Unknown location

Collision involving Class 110

Info from Robert Frise

No details on what caused the damage to two Class 110 vehicles that appear to have been side-swiped. Pictured at Doncaster in June 1978 by Robert Frise. More Details.

Southall Derailment

Date unknown - Southall Depot

Derailment involving Class 117

Info from Richard Himson

Class 117 set L431 derailed in Southall Depot. Photo by Richard Himson.

14/2/79 - Chinley North Junction, LMR

Collision involving Class 108 / Class 40

Info from Bill Read

Class 108 in collision with locomotive 40 055 at the head of a stationary freight train. M51930-M52047. Driver seriously injured, 5 passengers and guard required hospital treatment. M51930 was derailed and suffered extensive damage to the cab and leading end of the car. There was little damage to the trailing car or to the locomotive. The DMU had been irregularly hand-signalled past a red signal.

12/3/79 - Sheffield

Collision involving Class 108 / Class 123

8:17 Chesterfield to Sheffield formed E52102/E59826/E52093 ran away at Heeley, entered Sheffield station at speed and collided with empty DMU M52043/M51923. The brakes on the 8:17 failed due to inadequate maintenance of brake cylinders at Hull Dairycoates.

17/3/79 - Charlestown (between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden)

Derailment involving DMU / Class 110

Info from Richard Greenwood and Philip Southwell

The last up Calder Valley Leeds - Manchester Vic train derailed due to snow and ice buildup interfering with the correct operation of a catchpoint 1/4 mile back from where the train came to rest. The passengers were rescued and accommodated at Todmorden Police Station until onward transport could be laid on.

16/4/79 - Paisley Gilmour Street, ScR

Collision involving Class 126 / EMU

Info from Bill Read

The 18:58 Ayr to Glasgow Central additional train formed Sc51031/Sc59412/Sc51014 & Sc51044/Sc59398/Sc51017 passed a signal at danger at Paisley Gilmour Street. Guard gave right away while signal at danger and the driver did not check. Train was in head on collision with the 19:40 Glasgow Central to Wemyss Bay as it crossed the junction east of the station. Serious damage, 7 fatalities and many injuries. Both SC51031 and EMU SC75840 were extensively damaged. SC51031 rode up over the roof of the EMU and was cut up on site. The remaining DMU vehicles were all repairable.

York split points

Summer 1979 - York, ER

Split Points involving Class 108

Info from Peter Mullen

E50643 slipped the points just south of York station. More Details.

6/6/79 - Hopwood, LMR

Derailment involving Class 110

Info from Richard Greenwood

The derailment was caused by a derailment becoming detached. The driver was quoted as saying it had started making a loud knocking noise after he left Manchester Victoria and intended to drive the unit only as far as Rochdale where he would declare it a failure.

DMU Accidents


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