List of rail accidents (1880–1889)

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This is a list of rail accidents from 1880 to 1889.


  • January 8, 1880 – United Kingdom – A collision near Southport killed ten people.[1]
  • January 15, 1880 – United Kingdom – Six people were killed when the 5:30 express from Liverpool collided with a passenger train between Ormskirk and Burscough Junction. Both trains were on the same line and a signalman was arrested.[2]
  • February, 1880 – United Kingdom – Thirty passengers had minor injuries following a collision between a Welsh coal-train and an express from Chester, near the Birkenhead Tunnel.[3]
  • February 10, 1880 – France – A train from St Lazare station ran into the Paris to Argenteuil train near Clichy station. Seven passengers were killed and at least fifty badly injured.[4]
  • February 13, 1880 – United Kingdom – Two wagons and the guard's van were thrown off the viaduct over the River Almond, Scotland killing two guards and a telegraph boy.[5]
  • March 13, 1880 – Germany – Two passenger trains collided at Halle railway station; killing seven and injuring many.[6]
  • March 13, 1880 – United Kingdom – Two killed after an accident on the Great Northern Line, near Wakefield, Yorkshire.[7]
  • June 17, 1880 – United Kingdom – A bridge on the Hay and Brecon Railway collapsed and a luggage train crashed into the river, killing the driver and severely injuring the stoker.[8]
  • June 24, 1880 – United Kingdom – A child riding on the engine of a mineral train died when the mineral train left the rails of a branch line, near Skinningrove Mine, Cleveland.[9]
  • August 10, 1880 – United Kingdom – An express passenger train derailed north of Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland due to faulty track. Three people were killed.[10]
  • August 11, 1880 – United Kingdom – A Midland Railway passenger train derailed at Wennington, Lancashire. Eight people are killed and 23 are injured.[11]
  • August 19, 1880 – United Kingdom – A Midland Railway passenger train stopped inside Blea Moor Tunnel, Yorkshire due to a faulty brake pipe. An express passenger train overran signals collided with it at low speed.[12]
  • September 2, 1880 – United Kingdom – A Midland Railway passenger train left the rails on a sharp curve at the Manchester Central Station at 10:00 am. Several passengers and crew were injured.[13]
  • September 11, 1880 – New Zealand – The Rimutaka Incline railway accident on the Rimutaka Incline, New Zealand. A small train left Greytown at 8.30am bound for Wellington via the Rimutaka Incline. At Cross Creek at the foot of the incline, the train was rearranged with two passenger cars and the luggage carriage in front of the Fell Engine. Behind it were two wagons of timber, and the Fell brake van last. A strong northwest wind was blowing and, at a place called Siberia, a terrific gust blew the three leading carriages off the line. The couplings held and the weight of the engine plus the grip of the drivers on the centre-rail stopped them from falling to the valley below, but the body of the first carriage was torn off its chassis. The passengers were thrown out, three children were killed instantly, another died later, and some had horrific injuries. The inquest found the deaths accidental and no blame was attached to anyone. Wind shelters were later built on dangerous parts of the incline.[14]
  • September 11, 1880 – United Kingdom – A London and South Western Railway passenger train collided with a light engine at Nine Elms Locomotive Junction, London due to errors by signalmen and the fireman of the light engine. Seven people were killed.[15]
  • October 7, 1880 – United Kingdom – One of the carriages of an excursion train for Leamington overturned when leaving Kenilworth.[16]
  • October 27, 1880 – United Kingdom – A passenger train ran into a goods train near Mosesgate on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. Several passengers were injured and about a dozen carriages and a number of wagons were damaged.[17]
  • October 28 – Belgium – A goods train ran down an incline, near Herstal and hit a passenger train, killing seven people with several injured.[18]
  • December 21, 1880 – United Kingdom – The Bristol, Derby and Sheffield express hit at Sheffield express at Holbeck Junction, near Leeds killing one and injuring forty.[19][20]



  • January 13, 1882 – United StatesSpuyten Duyvil, New York: Hudson River Railroad's Tarrytown Special collided with rear of the halted Atlantic Express near Spuyten Duyvil at night, telescoping the last two coaches which also caught fire. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper published a full front-page engraving on January 21, 1882 showing trainmen, passengers, and local farmers rolling giant snowballs in an attempt to extinguish the blaze. State Senator and sleeping car magnate Webster Wagner was among the dead. This occurred in the same general location as another deadly train derailment on December 1, 2013 [25]
  • June 30, 1882 – United StatesLittle Silver, New Jersey: Five of the seven cars of the Long Branch Railroad's Lightning Express, plunged off a trestle bridge near Little Silver, killing one man outright, with two men dying of their injuries later. Ulysses S. Grant was amongst the passengers of the train that day.[26][27]
  • July 13, 1882 – Russia – In the Tcherny railway accident a train derailed and more than 150 people were killed.
Hugstetten rail disaster. (September 3, 1882)


  • January 1, 1883 – United Kingdom – A Cambrian Railways passenger train was struck by a landslide at Vriog, Merionethshire. The locomotive was pushed into the sea, but the carriages remained on the track. Both crew were killed.[28]
  • January 20, 1883 – United StatesTehachapi, California: 1883 Tehachapi train wreck - Brakes holding passenger cars on a Central Pacific train failed during a locomotive switch at Tehachapi Summit. As the runaway cars headed down the mountain, stoves tipped over and ignited the cars before derailment. A total of 21 people were killed in the disaster, many of whom were burned beyond recognition.[29]
  • March 8, 1883 – United KingdomWotton, Brill Tramway: A ladies' maid was run over and killed by a locomotive as she stood in the trackway watching it approach. This was the only fatality in the line's 64-year history.[30]




  • September 14, 1886 – United States – A head-on collision in Silver Creek between a freight train and a passenger train killed twenty passengers when the smoking car telescoped.[34]


  • January 4, 1887 – United StatesRepublic, Ohio: A head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight caused a fire killing thirteen passengers.[35]
  • February 5, 1887 – United StatesHartford, Vermont: While approaching the 650-foot bridge over the White River, a rail broke under the northbound Vermont Central Railroad Montreal Express train after the engine passed over it, causing the last passenger car to derail. This sleeper car was dragged sideways for about 200 feet (61 m), and plunged more than 50 feet (15 m) down a steep embankment to the frozen river below. Three additional passenger cars were pulled down the precipice by this car, with the engine, tender, and two other cars able to make it safely over the bridge before it collapsed. At least 40 people were killed in total. The temperature was well below zero, and survivors of the wreck were stranded half-clothed and injured on the frozen river. When help eventually arrived, a fire ignited which burned alive any survivors that were still trapped in the wreckage. Rescuers had to seek shelter due to the intensity of the flames. Jewelry and other belongings were used to identify victims, as most bodies and flesh were burned beyond recognition.[36]
  • March 14, 1887 – United StatesWest Roxbury, Massachusetts: "The Forest Hills Disaster"; also, "The Forest Ridge Disaster" – The "Bussey Bridge", a Howe truss bridge at South Street in the Roslindale section of West Roxbury collapsed as a morning Boston & Providence Railroad train, inbound to Boston, passed killing twenty-four commuters and school children and injuring several hundred. Bridge design was found to be faulty.
  • March 25, 1877 – United Kingdom – An express passenger train derailed at Morpeth, Northumberland due to defective track killing five people and injuring seventeen.
  • April 26, 1887 – United Kingdom – a bomb planted by the Fenians in a first-class compartment exploded on the Metropolitan Railway near Aldersgate St. station, London, killing two people and injuring eight others. The first fatal terrorist attack against what is now the London Underground, it is one of a series of bombings of the Underground and other London landmarks.[37]
  • August 10–11, 1887 – United StatesChatsworth, Illinois: The Great Chatsworth Train Wreck – A fifteen car train of fully occupied Pullman sleepers and coaches on the Toledo, Peoria and Western bound for Niagara Falls, approached a wooden trestle over a shallow "run" just before midnight that was on fire. The engineer did not have sufficient time to stop the double-headed train with over 600 onboard from crossing the weakened structure which collapsed under the lead engine. The cars in the front half telescoped into one another and some 84 are killed with injuries estimated at 279. This accident inspired the morbid ballad "The Chatsworth Wreck" that includes the verse, "the dead and dying mingled with the broken beams and bars; an awful human carnage, a dreadful wreck of cars."
  • August 22, 1887 – United Kingdom – A Midland Railway freight train becomes divided at Wath-upon-Dearne, Yorkshire. Due to a signalman's error, an express passenger train ran into the rear of it. Seventeen people were injured.[38]
  • September 16, 1887 – United KingdomHexthorpe rail accident, near Doncaster: The locomotive crew misread signals and crashed into rear of special train for racegoers killing twenty-five. The simple vacuum brakes were deemed inadequate by subsequent enquiry.
  • October 11, 1887 – United States - A freight train crashed into a passenger train at a train intersection in Kouts, Indiana killing twenty and injuring nearly seventy.[39]
  • October 25, 1887 – United Kingdom – A freight train overran signals at Amble, Northumberland and collided with a locomotive. The locomotive was pushed back into a waiting passenger train, which itself was pushed back into a freight train.[40]


  • January 6, 1888 - Canada - Two freight trains of the Canadian Pacific Railway collided in the middle of a trestle near Mink, Ontario about 135 miles east of Port Arthur, Ontario. Crew members of both trains were either killed or injured.[41]
  • March 16, 1888 – United States – North of Coleman's Station, Dutchess County, New York, : A New York Central snow-clearance train consisting of the plow "Old Eli" and five locomotives reached a rock cut clogged with snow, moving about 40 mph. The entire train derailed killing five crewmen.[42][43]
Blackshear trestle wreck. (March 17, 1888)
  • March 17, 1888 – United StatesBlackshear, Georgia: Most of the West India Fast Mail Train from New York City to Jacksonville, Florida was wrecked when two-thirds of a 300-foot-long (91 m), 25-foot-high (7.6 m) trestle collapsed. A broken rail under the lead baggage car caused it to come off the tracks. The train safely crossed the bridge over the Hurricane River, but at about 9:30 a.m. the baggage car suddenly whirled over and struck the subsequent trestle, causing its collapse. All but the detached engine tumbled below — a combination car, three baggage cars, a smoking car, a coach, two Pullman sleepers, and the private car of the Lehigh Valley Railroad killing twenty and injuring 35. Among the latter is Elisha P. Wilbur, president of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, who together with members of his family and friends was traveling in the private car. George Gould and his wife escaped serious injury. The engine continued into town to get help.
  • July 12, 1888 – United StatesWreck at the Fat Nancy, Virginia: Nine are killed and twenty-six are injured when a train trestle collapsed. One of the victims was a civil engineer who had designed a replacement for the trestle, since it was known to be unsafe. One of the passengers in the train was Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet.
  • August 6, 1888 – United Kingdom – A London and South Western Railway locomotive collided head-on with a passenger train at Hampton Wick, Middlesex due to a signalman's error. Four people were killed and fourteen seriously injured.[44]
  • October 10, 1888 – United StatesMud Run Disaster, Pennsylvania: Following a mass meeting held by the Total Abstinence Union in the Pennsylvania mountains at Hazleton, the 5000 conventioneers were returning from Wilkes-Barre in eight special temperance trains operated by the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The trains were directed to keep a ten-minute interval between them. At about 8 p.m., the sixth train with 500 onboard stopped near Mud Run along the banks of the Lehigh River and shortly thereafter the following train plowed into it, telescoping the last car of the stopped train halfway through the coach ahead, killing 66 of the 200 in these two wooden cars outright. More than 50 were injured. Newspaper accounts suggested that temperance pledges were forgotten by some of the victims after they returned to the train.
Borki train disaster, (October 29, 1888)
  • October 29 [O.S. October 17] 1888 – RussiaBorki train disaster. The imperial train, carrying Alexander III of Russia and his family, derailed near Borki in Kharkov Governorate. Twenty-one died on site, two in local hospitals. The popular story says that tsar held up the mangled roof of the carriage, so that his family could escape from the wreckage. Alexander sustained a massive impact trauma to his back but was apparently not affected in any other way. Commissioner disagreed on the direct cause of the crash, citing speeding, substandard track and mismanagement by private railroad owners.


  • March 30, 1889 – United Kingdom – A Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway passenger train derailed at Penistone, Yorkshire due to a broken axle on a locomotive. A mail train ran into the wreckage killing one and injuring 61.[45]
  • May 12, 1889 – United StatesSeattle, Washington, a street car descending Denny Hill suffered a cable malfunction and crashed after hitting a sharp curve. The crash killed one passenger and injured another. The crash marked the first street car fatality in the history of Seattle.[46]
  • May 23, 1889 – United States – The westbound train on the St. Louis and San Francisco road, which left St. Louis was wrecked at about 11:15 pm at a point three miles west of Sullivan MO.[citation needed]
  • June 12, 1889 – United Kingdom – The Armagh rail disaster near Armagh, Ireland: a train stalled on a gradient and the driver decided to divide it. Left unbraked, the rear portion ran away backwards and collided with a following train, killing 88. Parliament responds by passing the Regulation of Railways Act 1889, mandating fail-safe brakes and improved signal systems.
  • August 22, 1889 – United States – An excursion train of dignitaries inspecting the newly completed route of the Knoxville, Cumberland Gap and Louisville Railroad between Knoxville and Middlesboro derailed at Flat Creek in Grainger County, Tennessee, killing five, including a Knoxville city alderman and the chairman of the board of public works, and injuring twenty.[47]
  • December 7, 1889 - United Kingdom - three trains collided near Cheetham Hill junction. A London and North-Western goods train with 27 wagons of coal bound for Oldham was waiting for a Lancashire and Yorkshire passenger train from Bacup to pass before using the junction to bear right onto the Oldham line. At 10:45 pm, a Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway passenger train heading from Victoria Station to Bacup set off on schedule and saw no warning light that a train was stopped on the line. It crashed into the back of the coal train, derailing and injuring many passengers as it hit the stationary train at around 14 MPH. The resulting debris blocked the other line and the passenger train coming from Bacup ran into this, also causing a derailment and many injuries to passengers. There was only one death and this was the fireman from the train that set off from Victoria Station, at the coroners inquest it could not be determined whether he had jumped from the train or been violently thrown at impact, he had been trapped under the guard van from the goods train, when rescuers got to him he was past help.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Southport Railway Collision". The Cornishman (79). 15 January 1880. p. 3.
  2. ^ "Railway Collision Near Liverpool. Six Persons Killed". The Cornishman (80). 8 June 1880. p. 7.
  3. ^ "Postscript". The Cornishman (83). 12 February 1880. p. 5.
  4. ^ "Terrible Railway Accident Near Paris". The Cornishman (83). 12 February 1880. p. 7.
  5. ^ "Shocking Railway Accident". The Cornishman (84). 19 February 1880. p. 6.
  6. ^ "Foreign And Colonial". The Cornishman (88). 18 March 1880. p. 5.
  7. ^ "Accidents". The Cornishman (88). 18 March 1880. p. 8.
  8. ^ "Fearful Railway Accident". The Cornishman (102). 24 June 1880. p. 7.
  9. ^ "Fatal Railway Accident". The Cornishman (103). 1 July 1880. p. 7.
  10. ^ Hoole 1983, p. 31.
  11. ^ Hall 1990, p. 51.
  12. ^ Hall 1990, pp. 51–52.
  13. ^ "Railway Accident At Manchester". The Cornishman (113). 9 September 1880. p. 7.
  14. ^ New Zealand Disasters and Tragedies; Rimutaka Incline Rail Accident; Saturday 11 September 1880 (
  15. ^ Hall 1990, pp. 49–50.
  16. ^ "Excursion Train". The Cornishman (118). 14 October 1880. p. 7.
  17. ^ "Railway Collision". The Cornishman (120). 28 October 1880. p. 5.
  18. ^ "Railway Accident In Belgium". The Cornishman (121). 4 November 1880. p. 3.
  19. ^ "Serious Railway Collision". The Cornishman (128). 16 December 1880. p. 5.
  20. ^ "The Leeds Railway Accident". The Cornishman (128). 16 December 1880. p. 5.
  21. ^ Kalbfleisch, John. "From the archives: Success of ice railway to South Shore in 1880 was short lived". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  22. ^ "Foreign And Colonial". The Cornishman (146). 28 April 1881. p. 7.
  23. ^ Kidner 1977, p. 90.
  24. ^ "Terrible Railway Accident: No. 4 Eastern Express Ditched Near Prescott: The Engineer Instantly Killed: Two Express Messengers Seriously Injured: Miraculous Escape of the Passengers: The Smash Caused by a Cow on the Track". Globe and Mail. 1881-08-15. p. 9.
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Plunging Into A Creek; Fatal Accident On The Long Branch Railroad". The New York Times. June 30, 1882. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  27. ^ "Railway Accident". Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954). Vic.: National Library of Australia. 2 August 1882. p. 4. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  28. ^ Hoole 1983, p. 24.
  29. ^ "A Railway Horror: Appalling Disaster at Tehachalpi: Twenty-One Killed," San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 21, 1883, pg. 8.
  30. ^ "Sad Fatal Accident on the Tramway". Bucks Herald (Aylesbury). 1883-03-10
  31. ^ Hoole 1982, p. 7.
  32. ^ Hall 1990, p. 52.
  33. ^ Jan Bondeson (2006), The Cat Orchestra & the Elephant Butler, pp. 132–133. Stroud: Tempus Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-3934-0
  34. ^
  35. ^ Reed, Robert (1968). Train Wrecks: A Pictoral History of Accidents on the Main Line. Seattle: Superior Pub. Co. p. 122. ISBN 0-517-328976.
  36. ^ Vermont Central Wreck
  37. ^ John R. Day & John Reed (2010). The Story of London's Underground (11th ed.). Capital Transport Publishing. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-85414-341-9.
  38. ^ Earnshaw 1990, p. 4.
  39. ^ "Kouts Station IN, Trains Collide In Indiana, Oct 1887".
  40. ^ Hoole 1983, p. 15.
  41. ^ The Globe January 07, 1888. P1.
  42. ^ "Harlem Valley Rail Trail: The Trail, Mechanic Street in Amenia to Coleman Station in the Town of North East". Archived from the original on 2013-10-23. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  43. ^ "Condensed News" (PDF). Newtown Register. 1888-03-29. Retrieved 2014-01-28. (Page reproduced on "Old FultonNY" history web site.)
  44. ^ Earnshaw 1990, p. 6.
  45. ^ Earnshaw 1990, p. 7.
  46. ^ HistoryLink Essay: Streetcar accident results in fatality, first of the kind in Seattle, on May 12, 1889
  47. ^ Rule, William (1900). Standard History of Knoxville, Tennessee. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. p. 294.


External links[edit]