List of rail accidents (1980–89)

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This is a list of rail accidents from 1980 to 1989.




  • March 8, 1981 - Argentina - Brandsen rail disaster - Occurred when a passenger train collided head on with a freight train, killing 34.
  • April 8, 1981 – United Kingdom – A freight train is derailed at Hadfield, Derbyshire.[8]
  • June 4, 1981 – PolandOsieck rail crash: About 3.45 p.m. there was a head-on collision between PKP class EN57 and freight train with two heavy locomotives: 25 people killed (mostly railroad workers who were returning home from work), 8 survived; crew of freight train, which passed signal at danger – survived too.[9]
  • June 6, 1981 – IndiaBihar train disaster: Hundreds are killed (300–800) when a train falls into a river.[10]
  • June 24, 1981 – Canada – 33 cars of a 100 car Eastbound CP Rail freight train derail at a switch at Girdwood, Ontario.[11]
  • July 9, 1981 – ChinaLiziyida train disaster: A bridge was destroyed by mud-rock flow, while a passenger train was running towards it. Two locomotives, a mail carriage and a passenger carriage were flushed into the Dadu River by the flow, and other two passenger carriages derailed, 275 people killed or lost.
  • August 4, 1981 – Canada – 17 cars of a 35 car southbound CP Rail freight train derailed after colliding with a gravel truck near Dominion City, Manitoba.[12]
  • September 8, 1981 – Canada – 14 Cars of goods on a freight train derailed near Arnprior, Ontario.[13]


  • January 13, 1982 – United StatesWashington, D.C.: 1982 Washington Metro train derailment - An Orange line train derails on the Washington Metro between the Smithsonian and Federal Triangle stations. While the train was being backed, the derailed truck drives the aluminum car into a tunnel support, killing three people. By coincidence this happened at the same time Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge.
  • January 16, 1982 – United Kingdom – A freight train derails at Chinley, Derbyshire.[14]
  • February 1, 1982 – Canada – 10 people injured in derailment of eastbound Via Rail passenger train.
  • March 14, 1982 – United StatesMineola, New York: A Long Island Rail Road train hits a van at a level crossing on Herricks Road killing nine and injuring one.[15]
  • May 31, 1982 – United StatesColonial Heights, Virginia: A Seaboard Coast Line freight train derailed at the Swift Creek Bridge after a hard run-in of slack due to changing grades. One tank car was breached and caught fire. No train personnel were injured, but 12 firefighters and a state emergency official were injured during firefighting operations. It was determined that the train was traveling over the speed limit for a restricted classification and the engineer failed to control the slack action of the train while transiting changes in grades. Miscommunication of hazardous materials information resulted in the misdirection of emergency response efforts, causing the 13 injuries.[16]
  • July 7, 1982 – United StatesFair Lawn, New Jersey: Teenagers throw a switch and send a commuter train into a pasta factory resulting in the death of the engineer. Four teens are eventually charged with various crimes relating to the wreck.[17]
  • August 2, 1982 – West GermanyOstercappeln: Two drunk British Army soldiers from the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment, at Mercer Barracks, steal an armoured personnel carrier (AFV432) at the Osnabrück barracks and crash into the oncoming D 15233 after the APC has been driven on the Rollbahn railway tracks. Both engines of the train and five cars derail, the tank is completely destroyed. 23 people are injured, the two soldiers are instantly killed.[18][19]
  • September 12, 1982 – Switzerland – A bus carrying members of Schönaich sports association was hit by a late running three car regional train on a level crossing in Pfaeffikon when an attendant failed to close manually operated barriers. 39 people in the bus were killed, only 2 survived.[20]
  • October 17, 1982 – Argentina – Two passenger trains collided in Quilmes, killing more than 20 and injuring 70. [21]



  • January 7, 1984 – CanadaMedicine Hat, Alberta: The Canadian Pacific Railroad Canadian Pacific Railway eastbound freight train derailed after losing braking power and gaining excessive speed upon entry into the city's river valley, killing one crew member. [24]
  • March 5, 1984 – United StatesKittrell, North Carolina: The Amtrak Silver Star derailed after overheated bearings caused an axle to break on the rear locomotive, injuring 52. Although heavy rain conditions occurred at the time of the accident, it was not considered a factor in the derailment.[25]
  • May 29, 1984 – United StatesConnellsville, Pennsylvania: The Amtrak Capital Limited derailed following a railbed washout, injuring 23. The cause was discarded tie ends from track maintenance blocking the drainage culverts. Also the railroad had no system for tracking dangerous local weather. Help was delayed because all radios on the locomotive were damaged in the crash.[26]
  • June 23, 1984 – United Kingdom – An express passenger train is derailed at Morpeth, Northumberland due to excessive speed on a curve. Fifteen people are injured.
  • July 7, 1984 – United StatesWilliston, Vermont: The Amtrak Montrealer derailed following a railbed washout, killing five people and injuring nearly 140.[27]
  • July 30, 1984 – United KingdomPolmont rail accident, a push-pull train derailed after colliding with a cow, killing 13.
  • October 11, 1984 – United Kingdom – A passenger train overruns a signal and collides with a freight train at Wembley Central station, London. Three people are killed.[28] There were also 18 injured. The cause was a signal passed at danger, apparently caused by the passenger train's driver having an attack of an unusual form of amnesia. A medical board concluded that this was due to a transient disturbance of blood flow in the posterior cerebral arteries.[29]
  • October 31, 1984 – Argentina – According to Argentine television network Telefe report, a commuter train rammed into the bus and shoved 600-feet down a rail tracks, where scattering wreckage and bodies along the way at San Justo, suburb of Buenos Aires, killing 43 people, another ten are injured.
  • November 13, 1984 – United Kingdom – A freight train is derailed at Stockport, Greater Manchester due to a defective wagon.[30]
  • November 30, 1984 – United Kingdom – A passenger train is derailed by a broken rail at Stoulton, Worcestershire. Two people are injured.[31]
  • December 4, 1984 – United KingdomEccles rail crash (1984): An express passenger train collided with a freight train in Eccles, Greater Manchester, killing 3 people and injuring 68.


  • January 13, 1985 – EthiopiaAwash rail disaster: A derailment hurled a train into a ravine at Imperial Railway Company of Ethiopia, near Awash, killing at least 428 people. This accident is the worst railroad disaster in Africa.
  • February 23, 1985 – IndiaRajnandgaon train fire, Madhya Pradesh: More than 50 people are killed when an express train catches fire.[10]
  • March 23, 1985 – AustraliaTrinder Park, Queensland: Two people were killed and 31 injured when two electric multiple units collided head on.[32]
  • April 16, 1985 – United StatesGranby, Colorado: The Amtrak California Zephyr derailed following a landslide under the railbed, injuring 32. The landslide, caused by extraordinarily heavy snow melt, nearly dammed the adjacent Fraser River. Help was delayed because all radios on the locomotive were damaged in the crash and the site was only accessible via the rail tracks.[26]
  • June 11, 1985 – IsraelHaBonim disaster, HaBonim: 21 people killed, including 19 school children in a collision between a bus on a school field trip and a train going from Haifa to Tel Aviv near HaBonim.[33]
  • June 13, 1985 – IndiaAgra rail disaster: 38 people are killed in a collision at Agra.[10]
  • July 8, 1985 – France – A passenger train collides with a lorry on a level crossing at Saint-Pierre-du-Vauvray. Eight people are killed and 55 are injured.[34]
  • August 3, 1985 – France – A head-on collision at Flaujac kills 32 people.[34]
  • August 30, 1985 – France – A passenger train is derailed at Argenton-sur-Creuse due to the driver failing to observe a temporary speed restriction. A mail train collides with the wreckage. Forty-three people are killed, 38 are seriously injured.[35][34]
  • September 11, 1985 – PortugalAlcafache train crash: The Sud Express linking Porto-Paris head-on collides with a Regional train linking Guarda-Coimbra at Alcafache (Beira Alta Line) between NelasMangualde, Viseu, Portugal. Portuguese officials claimed 49 killed, but Portuguese media claimed at least 150 people killed.
  • September 14, 1985 – Switzerland – A LausanneMorges passenger train head-on collided with two electric locomotives at Denges, Morges, in an incident caused by railroad worker missed switching point at safety catch point, killing five people and injuring 56.[36]
  • December 22, 1985 – Italy – An electric locomotive collides with a freight train in Coronella, Ferrara, Italy, killing 10 people and injuring 11.[7]
  • December 31, 1985 – Canada – 35 freight cars and 8 locomotives derailed near Sharbot Lake, Ontario. A rock slide was suspected as the cause. 4 containers of dangerous commodities were involved with two being partly submerged in a nearby lake and the other two sitting close to a small stream. A temporary dike was built to contain the leakage.


  • February 8, 1986 – CanadaHinton train collision, Dalehurst, Alberta: 23 lives lost when Via Rail passenger train and CN freight train collide head-on. This resulted in the adoption of stricter crew scheduling practice and a complete rewrite of the operating rules.
  • February 17, 1986 – ChileQueronque rail accident, a ValparaísoSantiago express train collided head-on with local train, near Limache. The official death toll was 58 people with 510 injured. The tragedy prompted to switch off the full express route.
  • March 9, 1986 – United Kingdom – A passenger train is in a head-on collision with two light engines at Chinley, Derbyshire due to a signalman's error. Lack of training and a power cut are contributory factors. One person is killed.[37]
  • March 10, 1986 – IndiaKhagaria rail disaster, over 50 people are killed in a collision in Bihar.[10]
  • May 18, 1986 – United StatesGreat Dismal Swamp Derailment, an excursion train pulled by Norfolk and Western 611 on Norfolk Southern Railway derailed in the Great Dismal Swamp near Suffolk, VA. 12 passenger cars derailed, 3 being flipped over entirely. 150 people where injured 7 critically. Cause determined to be worn wheel flange that picked a switch. Resulted in Norfolk Southern requiring tightlock couplers on all passenger equipment and imposing a 40 mph speed restriction on all steam locomotives.[38]
  • June 4, 1986 – Canada – 9 cars from a Canadian Pacific freight train derail near Belle River, Ontario.
  • June 15, 1986 – United Kingdom – An express passenger train is derailed at Motherwell, Lanarkshire injuring 12 due to thermal buckling of track at a junction.[39]
  • July 8, 1986 – United States – A CSX Transportation freight train derailed along the Great Miami River in Miamisburg, Ohio, igniting phosphorus contained in some of the tanker cars and creating a massive toxic cloud. The evacuation of approximately 30,000 people across Montgomery County, Ohio, as a result was the largest evacuation in Ohio history. 569 persons were treated for various injuries, more than $3.5 million in property damage occurred, and more than $1 billion in lawsuits resulted. The accident was the second major rail disaster in Miamisburg within an eight-year period.
  • July 26, 1986 – United KingdomLockington rail crash, a passenger train hit a Ford Escort van on a level crossing at Lockington, England, killing nine and injuring 59.[40]
  • September 19, 1986 – United KingdomColwich rail crash, An express passenger train overruns signals at Colwich, Staffordshire and comes to halt foul of a junction. Another express passenger train is in collision with it, killing one person and injuring 75. Thirty-two people are hospitalised.[41]
November 8, 1986 – Bangkok, Thailand
  • November 8, 1986 – ThailandBangkok: 5 people die and 7 are injured when an unmanned train runaway from the maintenance depot for 15 kilometer at a speed of 50 km/h toward Hua Lamphong station and hit the buffer stop.
  • December 28, 1986 – Japan – An out of service train fell onto a fish processing factory, caused by strong wind at Amarube railroad bridge, Kasumi, Hyogo. One train conductor and five factory workers are killed.[42]


  • January 4, 1987 – United States1987 Maryland train collision, Chase, Maryland: The Amtrak Colonial express train, highballing at 90 miles per hour (140 km/h), slammed into a consist of Conrail freight locomotives whose engineer had ignored a stop signal and had fouled the Northeast Corridor mainline at Gunpow Interlocking. The force of the impact completely destroyed the lead Amtrak locomotive and derailed the rest of the train, killing the Amtrak engineer, a lounge car attendant and 14 passengers. The subsequent investigation revealed that the in-cab signaling system of the Conrail lead locomotive was inoperative and that the Conrail crew had been smoking marijuana. This notorious accident, Amtrak's most deadly at the time, caused the US railroad industry to tighten up drug use detection among operational personnel and subsequently led to the federal certification of locomotive engineers
  • February 20, 1987 – United Kingdom – A freight train runs away and is derailed by trap points at Chinley, Derbyshire. Another train runs into the wreckage.[31]
  • March 24, 1987 – United Kingdom – A freight train overran a signal and was in a head-on collision with a passenger train at Frome North Junction, Somerset. Several people are seriously injured.[43]
  • July 8, 1987 – India – A Deccan of Hyderabad-Hazrat Nizamuddin of Delhi Dakshin Express derailed at Macherial, Andhra Pradesh, killing 53.[10]
  • August 6, 1987 – United Kingdom – A merry-go-round train runs away and is derailed by trap points at Baddesley, Warwickshire.[44]
  • August 7, 1987 – Soviet UnionKamensk-Shakhtinsky rail disaster: A freight train collides with standing passenger train in Kamenskaya station, Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Rostov Oblast, killing 106 people.
  • October 19, 1987 – IndonesiaBintaro train crash: A commuter train from Rangkasbitung with 600 passengers collides head-on with another commuter train with 300 passengers bound for Merak, at Bintaro Jaya, south of Jakarta, killing at least 156 people, injuring at least 300. Indonesia's worst rail accident in history.
  • October 19, 1987 – United KingdomGlanrhyd Bridge collapse: Four people died when a passenger train from Swansea to Shrewsbury fell off a bridge that had collapsed due to exceptional flood conditions of the river beneath the bridge acting on its piers.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hall 1990, p. 131.
  2. ^ National Transportation Safety Board Railroad Accident Report RAR-80-8, Head-On Collision Between Amtrak Train No. 82 and Seaboard Coast Line Extra 2771 South in Lakeview, North Carolina, Retrieved Apr. 6, 2016.
  3. ^ Legeros Fire Blog Archives 2006–2015, Vance County Train Derailment (1984), Mike Legeros, Raleigh Times, March 6, 1984, Retrieved Apr. 6, 2016.
  4. ^ Trevena 1981, p. 48.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Rear End Collision of Union Pacific Railroad Company Freight Trains Extra 3119 West and Extra 8044 West". National Transportation Safety Board. 18 August 1981. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Tragedia sui binari". Il Sole 24 Ore. January 7, 2004. Retrieved July 1, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Earnshaw 1990, p. 47.
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Train Wrecks in India. Emergency & Disaster – Management Inc.
  11. ^ 33 cars leave track on CP Rail main line The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 25 June 1981: P.10.
  12. ^ Crews clear CP track after derailment and propane spill The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 07 Aug 1981: P.2.
  13. ^ "CP clearing tracks after derailment in Arnprior area". The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 08 Sep 1981: P.10. 
  14. ^ Earnshaw 1989, p. 3.
  15. ^ Barron, James (March 15, 1982). "TRAIN KILLS 9 TEEN-AGERS ON L.I. AS VAN GOES PAST CROSSING GATE". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  16. ^ National Transportation Safety Board Railroad Accident Report RAR-83/04, Derailment of Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Train No. 120 at Colonial Heights, Virginia, Retrieved Apr. 7, 2016.
  17. ^ "THE REGION; Youths Sentenced In Train Crash". The New York Times. March 30, 1985. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
  18. ^ a b Gerd Böhmer. "Bahnbetriebsunfälle der DR und DB ab 1958". 
  19. ^ Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, August 3, 1982
  20. ^ "Europe: A Grisly Triptych of Disasters". Time. September 27, 1982. 
  21. ^ "Mirá esta #TapadeClarin que encontré". 
  22. ^ Library, Department of Transport. Public Transport. Regulatory Affairs (1983-08-21). "Department of Transport Publications, Report into Cherryville Railway Accident". Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  23. ^ "Safety Recommendations I-85-15" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. 1985-04-19. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  24. ^ [2] Man Missing in Wreck
  25. ^ National Transportation Safety Board Railroad Accident Report RAR-85/03, Derailment of Amtrak Train No. 81 The Silver Star on the Seaboard System Railroad, Retrieved Apr. 6, 2016.
  26. ^ a b "RAILROAD ACCIDENT/INCIDENT SUMMARY REPORTS Connellsville Pennsylvania – - May 29, 1984 Grandby[sic] Colorado – - April 16, 1985" (PDF). NTSB. March 31, 1986. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Williston, VT Train Wreck, July 1984 | GenDisasters ... Genealogy in Tragedy, Disasters, Fires, Floods". Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  28. ^ Hall 1990, p. 132.
  29. ^ Rose, C. F., Major (21 February 1986). "Report on the Collision that occurred on 11th October 1984 near Wembley Central in the London Midland Region British Railways" (PDF). Department of Transport. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  30. ^ Earnshaw 1989, pp. 46–47.
  31. ^ a b Earnshaw 1990, p. 45.
  32. ^ "Electric Train Collision, Beenleigh Line" (PDF). Parliament of Queensland. 10 April 1985. p. 5064. 
  33. ^ he:אסון הבונים – ויקיפדיה, 2011-11-20, Retrieved 2011-12-21[better source needed]
  34. ^ a b c "Death Toll Rises To 43 In French Railway Disaster". Sun Sentinel. 1 September 1985. Retrieved 18 July 2016. 
  35. ^ Kitchenside 1997, p. 59.
  36. ^ "Around The World; 5 Reported Killed In Swiss Train Crash". The New York Times. September 15, 1985. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
  37. ^ Vaughan 1989, pp. 240–48.
  38. ^ "Star-News - Google News Archive Search". 
  39. ^ "Accident at Motherwell on 15th June 1986". Railways Archive. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  40. ^ "Accident at Lockington on 26th July 1986". Railways Archive. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  41. ^ Hall 1990, pp. 133–34.
  42. ^ 余部鉄橋事故から25年 「安心して…」遺族ら報告 [25 years since the Anarube railway bridge accident]. Kobe Shimbun (in Japanese). December 29, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  43. ^ Vaughan 2003, pp. 10–11.
  44. ^ Earnshaw 1993, p. 38.
  45. ^ NTSB – Testimony
  46. ^ 4 Die in Freight Train Collision in Pennsylvania. The New York Times. January 15, 1988.
  47. ^ Earnshaw 1993, p. 39.
  48. ^ "The Deseret News – Búsqueda en el archivo de Google Noticias". 1988-03-25. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  49. ^ "Fatal Train Crash in China". New York Times. March 25, 1988. Retrieved September 9, 2011. 
  50. ^ Earnshaw 1990, p. 46.
  51. ^ (Russian) Крушение пассажирского поезда «Аврора»
  52. ^ Reuters. "Worst rail disasters in North America". 
  53. ^ "Toll in Mexican Train Disaster Rises to at Least 112". The New York Times. August 11, 1989. 
  54. ^ "National Nine News report". Collision between two City bound Commuter Trains. National Nine News Australia. 20 November 1989. Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  55. ^ Investigation into the collision of trains at Holmesglen Station 26 July 2000 (3.17.2 Syndal 1989, page 27) – Department of Infrastructure


  • Earnshaw, Alan (1989). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 5. Penryn: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-35-4. 
  • Earnshaw, Alan (1990). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 6. Penryn: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-37-0. 
  • Earnshaw, Alan (1991). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 7. Penryn: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-50-8. 
  • Earnshaw, Alan (1993). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 8. Penryn: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-52-4. 
  • Haine, Edgar A. (1993). Railroad wrecks. Associated University Presses. ISBN 978-0-8453-4844-4. 
  • Hall, Stanley (1990). The Railway Detectives. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1929-0. 
  • Kitchenside, Geoffrey (1997). Great Train Disasters. Bristol: Siena Books. ISBN 0-7525-2630-8. 
  • Rolt, L. T. C.; Kichenside, G. M. (1982). Red for Danger: A history of railway accidents and railway safety (4th ed.). Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8362-0. OCLC 9526651. 
  • Shaw, Robert B. (1978). A History of Railroad Accidents, Safety Precautions and Operating Practices. LCCN 78104064. 
  • Trevena, Arthur (1981). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 2. Redruth: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-03-6. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Rail transport accidents by year at Wikimedia Commons