Greenock rail accident

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Greenock rail accident
Details
Date25 June 1994
Time23:00
Locationnear Drumfrochar railway station, Greenock
CountryScotland
LineInverclyde Line
(Strathclyde Passenger Transport)
OperatorScotRail
CauseVandalism
Statistics
Trains1
Passengers4
Crew2
Deaths2
List of UK rail accidents by year

On 25 June 1994, the 22:45 from Wemyss Bay to Glasgow, in Scotland,[1] derailed and smashed into a bridge after hitting concrete blocks placed deliberately on the railway by vandals outside of where Drumfrochar railway station would be opened 4 years later.[2][3]

The train involved was a refurbished Class 303 Electric Multiple Unit.[2] The concrete blocks were cable-trough covers, which were placed across the rails of the single-track line by two vandals who had climbed down to the railway to urinate on their way home.[4] The railway at this point is on a curve, going to the right as the train was travelling.

The leading bogie of the EMU derailed and the train immediately collided with the solid structure of the overbridge,[5] crushing the driver's cab, killing driver Arthur McKee, 35, and also killing passenger Alan Nicol, 21, who was seated immediately behind the cab, with his back to the partition.[6] Alan Nicol had taken this location to reduce the risk of injury from broken glass should the train be stoned by vandals, which was a common occurrence in that area. Including the two trainstaff, the train was carrying six people.[7]

Following the tragedy, many youths in the surrounding area were questioned by police regarding the incident.[6] After a trial by the High Court, Gary Dougan and Craig Houston, two 17-year-olds from Greenock were each imprisoned for 15 years for culpable homicide.[8][9] Dougan and Houston launched an appeal against their convictions two years later. In September 1996, the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh upheld both convictions.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Police treat train-crash deaths as murder". The Independent. 27 June 1994. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b Stephen 2019, p. 82.
  3. ^ "Accident at Greenock on 25th June 1994 :: The Railways Archive". www.railwaysarchive.co.uk. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  4. ^ Stephen 2019, pp. 82–83.
  5. ^ "Schoolgirl tells murder trial of train crash 'joke'". Herald Scotland. 17 December 1994. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  6. ^ a b Stephen 2019, p. 83.
  7. ^ "Concrete left on railway line". Greenock Telegraph. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  8. ^ "15 years for the railway killers' act of vandalism". Herald Scotland. 23 December 1994. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  9. ^ Child Vandals blamed for growing toll of rail havoc - Daily Mail, 15 August 1997, via findarticles.com
  10. ^ "Rail killers stay in jail. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. 27 September 1996. Retrieved 9 July 2019.

Sources[edit]

  • Stephen, Paul (19 June 2019). "The vandalism that claimed two lives". Rail Magazine. No. 881. Peterborough: Bauer Media. ISSN 0953-4563.

Coordinates: 55°56′28″N 4°46′25″W / 55.94105°N 4.77365°W / 55.94105; -4.77365