Bramminge train accident
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|Date||26 July 1913|
The Bramminge railway accident happened in Denmark on 26 July 1913, when the Copenhagen - Esbjerg train 1029 (known as the Emigrant) derailed soon after passing Bramminge (now spelt Bramming) station.
What happened and why
Express 1029 was due to depart from Fredericia at 14:50. The train, which included through coaches from Copenhagen, was larger than usual, so an A-class locomotive was added to the usual K-class locomotive. In addition to the locomotives, the train was made up of a goods van, some bogie carriages, three wooden six-wheelers (direct access from platform to compartments: no corridor) and then some more bogie carriages.
The train finally pulled out at 15:06. On arrival at Lunderskov the train had made up three minutes of its delay and seemed likely to make up the rest without running too fast.
The maximum permitted speed through stations was 75 km/h, and on open track 90 km/h, but statements from passengers and from staff suggested that the speed pace was much faster than usual - perhaps up to 120 km/h. The inspector's report states that the maximum permitted speed was probably exceeded (up to 105 km/h), but not irresponsibly.
When the train had passed Bramming station, the fireman on the leading locomotive saw a small sharp curve on the track ahead. A gang of railway workers were raising the track, and the ballast had been scraped away from the sleepers where the track was being raised. The limited amount of ballast is considered to have been a key reason why thermal expansion was able to warp the rails. The track had previously settled and had been corrected by stakes, but nothing else had been done to rectify the problem. The foreman of the track gang could have requested a speed reduction for the section, but had not thought it necessary.
The front locomotive continued over the warped track, the tender was derailed and the locomotive broke loose from the second locomotive and the carriages. The second locomotive ran off the track in a gentle curve, and the rest of the train (except for the last carriage, which stayed on the track) overturned. 15 people died in the accident, including the journalist Peter Sabroe; 14 of them were in the three six-wheelers, which were completely crushed in the derailment. About 80 people were injured.
For a fuller account of the accident, see https://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bramminge-ulykken
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