List of rail accidents (1980–89)
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This is a list of rail accidents from 1980 to 1989.
- February 16, 1980 – United Kingdom – An express passenger train is derailed at Bushey, Hertfordshire due to a broken rail. Nineteen people are seriously injured.
- April 2, 1980 – United States – Lakeview, North Carolina: The Amtrak Silver Star collided head-on with a Seaboard Coast Line freight train, injuring 123. It was determined that the engineer of the Amtrak train failed to reduce speed and comply with approach signal indications, causing the collision. Dense fog conditions also factored into the accident.
- May 22, 1980 – United Kingdom – A sleeper train is derailed at Prestonpans, Lothian due to a vandal placing a length of rail across the line.
- July 17, 1980; United States – North Wales, Pennsylvania: SEPTA commuter train 472 being operated from the second car of the train collides with train number 406 stopped at North Wales station, 67 were injured, none fatally.
- July 25, 1980 – Netherlands – Winsum train disaster: Two trains collide on a single track between Groningen and Roodeschool resulting in 9 deaths and 21 injured.
- August 1, 1980 – Ireland – Buttevant Rail Disaster, County Cork: A train derails at speed due to a signal fault on the main Dublin – Cork line leaving 18 dead and 62 injured.
- August 19, 1980 – Poland – Otłoczyn railway accident: A freight train runs through a red light and slams into a passenger train traveling from Toruń to Łódź. The accident near Otłoczyn killed 67 people and injured 65.
- October 4, 1980 – Soviet Union – Estonia: Two passenger trains collided at Tallinn main station after a departing train had passed red signal. 9 people were killed, 46 were injured.
- November 17, 1980 – Cima Hill, California: Runaway Union Pacific Railroad train loaded with ties is unable to brake and crashes into another train. Three railroad workers killed.
- November 21, 1980 – Italy – Curinga train disaster A Rome-Siracusa express train rammed into 69 cars of a freight train, and then derailed the Sicily-Rome express train, crushing four passenger cars at Curinga near Lamezia Terme, Catanzaro, killing 29 people and injuring 104.
- 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.
- June 4, 1981 – Poland – Osieck 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.
- June 6, 1981 – India – Bihar train disaster: Hundreds are killed (300–800) when a train falls into a river.
- June 24, 1981 – Canada – 33 cars of a 100 car Eastbound CP Rail freight train derail at a switch at Girdwood, Ontario.
- July 9, 1981 – China – Liziyida 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.
- September 8, 1981 – Canada – 14 Cars of goods on a freight train derailed near Arnprior, Ontario.
- January 13, 1982 – United States – Washington, 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.
- February 1, 1982 – Canada – 10 people injured in derailment of eastbound Via Rail passenger train.
- March 14, 1982 – United States – Mineola, New York: A Long Island Rail Road train hits a van at a level crossing on Herricks Road killing nine and injuring one.
- May 31, 1982 – United States – Colonial 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.
- July 7, 1982 – United States – Fair 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.
- August 2, 1982 – West Germany – Ostercappeln: 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.
- 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.
- October 17, 1982 – Argentina – Two passenger trains collided in Quilmes, killing more than 20 and injuring 70. 
- August 21, 1983 – Ireland – Cherryville Junction, County Kildare: a train, having run out of fuel and stopped, is hit by a second train from the rear which had passed a danger signal. 7 people are killed and 55 are injured.
- September 2, 1983 - United States - A Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train derailed near Murdock, Illinois, starting a fire. The fire heated tanks filled with liquefied petroleum gas, resulting in two large boiling liquid expanding vapor explosions. The force of the explosion blasted one of the tanker cars 3,630 feet (1,110 m) away from the derailment.
- January 7, 1984 – Canada – Medicine 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. 
- March 5, 1984 – United States – Kittrell, 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.
- May 29, 1984 – United States – Connellsville, 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.
- 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 States – Williston, Vermont: The Amtrak Montrealer derailed following a railbed washout, killing five people and injuring nearly 140.
- July 30, 1984 – United Kingdom – Polmont 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. 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.
- 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.
- November 30, 1984 – United Kingdom – A passenger train is derailed by a broken rail at Stoulton, Worcestershire. Two people are injured.
- December 4, 1984 – United Kingdom – Eccles 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 – Ethiopia – Awash 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 – India – Rajnandgaon train fire, Madhya Pradesh: More than 50 people are killed when an express train catches fire.
- March 23, 1985 – Australia – Trinder Park, Queensland: Two people were killed and 31 injured when two electric multiple units collided head on.
- April 16, 1985 – United States – Granby, 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.
- June 11, 1985 – Israel – HaBonim 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.
- June 13, 1985 – India – Agra rail disaster: 38 people are killed in a collision at Agra.
- 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.
- August 3, 1985 – France – A head-on collision at Flaujac kills 32 people.
- 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.
- September 11, 1985 – Portugal – Alcafache train crash: The Sud Express linking Porto-Paris head-on collides with a Regional train linking Guarda-Coimbra at Alcafache (Beira Alta Line) between Nelas–Mangualde, Viseu, Portugal. Portuguese officials claimed 49 killed, but Portuguese media claimed at least 150 people killed.
- September 14, 1985 – Switzerland – A Lausanne–Morges 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.
- December 22, 1985 – Italy – An electric locomotive collides with a freight train in Coronella, Ferrara, Italy, killing 10 people and injuring 11.
- 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 – Canada – Hinton 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 – Chile – Queronque rail accident, a Valparaíso–Santiago 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.
- March 10, 1986 – India – Khagaria rail disaster, over 50 people are killed in a collision in Bihar.
- May 18, 1986 – United States – Great 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.
- 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.
- 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 Kingdom – Lockington rail crash, a passenger train hit a Ford Escort van on a level crossing at Lockington, England, killing nine and injuring 59.
- September 19, 1986 – United Kingdom – Colwich 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.
- November 8, 1986 – Thailand – Bangkok: 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.
- January 4, 1987 – United States – 1987 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.
- 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.
- July 8, 1987 – India – A Deccan of Hyderabad-Hazrat Nizamuddin of Delhi Dakshin Express derailed at Macherial, Andhra Pradesh, killing 53.
- August 6, 1987 – United Kingdom – A merry-go-round train runs away and is derailed by trap points at Baddesley, Warwickshire.
- August 7, 1987 – Soviet Union – Kamensk-Shakhtinsky rail disaster: A freight train collides with standing passenger train in Kamenskaya station, Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Rostov Oblast, killing 106 people.
- October 19, 1987 – Indonesia – Bintaro 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 Kingdom – Glanrhyd 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.
- January 14, 1988 – United States – Thompsontown, Pennsylvania: Two Conrail freight trains collide head-on after one train ignores a signal. The engineers and brakemen on both trains were killed, and damages totaled $6 million. The crash was attributed to crew fatigue.
- January 15, 1988 – Canada – A CP Rail freight train slams into the rear of a switcher train on the outskirts of Regina, Saskatchewan, killing two people and derailing several cars in Canada's third train wreck in three days, railway spokesmen said.
- January 19, 1988 – East Germany – Forst Zinna rail disaster: A Soviet tank in Forst Zinna gets stuck on a level crossing and gets hit by an express train. 6 people die, 33 are injured.
- January 1988 – United Kingdom – A freight train is sent along a siding at Tavistock Junction, Devon and crashes through the buffer stop due to a pointsman's error.
- March 23, 1988 – Spain – Juneda, Catalonia. 10 children and 5 adults die when a train slams into a bus on an unbarriered level crossing.
- March 24, 1988 – China – No.311 Nanjing–Hangzhou express train collides Head-on with No.208 Changsha–Shanghai express train in Nanxiang, Jiading, Shanghai, killing 29 people, including two Japanese high school students, and injuring 100.
- June 4, 1988 – Soviet Union – Arzamas train disaster - A 120-ton freight train explodes, damaging 150 nearby buildings at Arzamas railroad station, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, killing at least 73 people.
- June 14, 1988 – United Kingdom – A freight train overruns signals and is derailed by trap points at Copyhold Junction, West Sussex.
- June 27, 1988 – France – Gare de Lyon train accident, Gare de Lyon, Paris: After brake failure, runaway train hits stationary rush-hour train in station, 56 people killed, over 50 injured.
- July 8, 1988 – India – Peruman railway accident – According to Press Trust of India report, a Bangalore–Trivandrum Island Express derails and plunges into Ashtamudi Lake on the outskirts of Kollam, Kerala, 107 people drowned.
- August 16, 1988 – Soviet Union – A high-speed train traveling from Leningrad to Moscow derails near Bologoye, killing 30 people and injuring about 180.
- December 12, 1988 – United Kingdom – Clapham Junction rail crash, London: wrong side failure from electrical short circuit caused by faulty signal maintenance, 35 people dead, more than 100 injured.
- February 2, 1989 – United States – 1989 Helena Train Wreck - A runaway train crashes into parked rail cars.
- March 4, 1989 – United Kingdom – Purley Station rail crash, London, England: As one train crosses over from one track to another, a second train runs a red signal and collides with the first train; the accident leaves six people dead and 94 injured.
- March 6, 1989 – United Kingdom – Glasgow Bellgrove rail accident, two commuter trains crash at Bellgrove station in the East End of Glasgow. One passenger and the driver of one of the trains were killed.
- April 3, 1989 – Italy – Two cars of the train from Bari derailed and slammed against the rail at San Severo, Foggia, killing eight and injuring 20.
- April 16, 1989 – India – Karnataka express train derailed at Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh, killing 75 people.
- May 12, 1989 – United States – San Bernardino train disaster, San Bernardino, California: A Southern Pacific Railroad freight train derails on Duffy Street after descending the very steep Cajon Pass, killing two crew members and two children, ages 7 and 9. Eleven homes were severely damaged or completely destroyed in the accident. Thirteen days later fuel leaking from a pipe line damaged in the recovery ignites, killing 2 people and causing further damage to homes.
- June 4, 1989 – Soviet Union – Ufa train disaster: 575 people are killed and over 600 wounded when two trains pass near a leaking natural gas line which explodes.
- August 10, 1989 – Mexico – San Rafael River train disaster, train carrying 330 people goes off a bridge into the San Rafael River, killing 112.
- November 1, 1989 – India – Udyan Abha Toofan express train derailed at Sakaldiha, Bihar, killing at least 48 people.
- November 6, 1989 – United Kingdom – two diesel multiple units are involved in a head-on collision at Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Seventeen people are taken to hospital.
- November 16, 1989 – Italy – In Crotone, two passenger trains collided on the Crotone–Catanzaro line, killing 12 people and injuring 32.
- November 20, 1989 – Australia – A Melbourne suburban Hitachi train collides into a stationary suburban Comeng train at Syndal railway station, the Comeng had been delayed due to a door fault on the train. The Hitachi train had stopped at a prior signal, but then continued onwards. The impact also results in the leading carriage of the Hitachi Train to buckle and split into two near the front of the carriage. 75 people are injured in the accident.
- List of accidents by death toll, category "other"
- List of road accidents – includes level crossing accidents.
- List of British rail accidents
- List of Russian rail accidents
- Years in rail transport
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Media related to Rail transport accidents by year at Wikimedia Commons