South Croydon rail crash
|Date||24 October 1947|
|Location||South Croydon, Surrey|
|Rail line||Brighton Main Line|
|List of UK rail accidents by year|
The South Croydon rail crash on the British railway system occurred on 24 October 1947.
The crash took place south of South Croydon railway station. Two electric commuter trains collided in fog and 32 people were killed, including the driver of the second train. It was the worst accident on Britain's Southern Railway.
The crash was a rear-end collision caused by a signalman's error. The inexperienced signalman at Purley Oaks forgot about a train from Haywards Heath to London Bridge standing invisible in the fog. The line was protected by the Sykes "Lock and Block" apparatus, which prevented him from allowing another train into the section until the preceding one had left it. However, he believed that the elderly apparatus was faulty and used a release key. This allowed a train from Tattenham Corner to London Bridge into the same section, and they collided near South Croydon Junction. The trains were crowded in the rush hour, carrying 800 and 1000 people respectively, hence the heavy death toll.
- "24th October 1947: 32 killed in South Croydon train crash". London Today. 26 Jan 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
- Mount, Lt Col A H L (18 December 1948). "Report on the Collision near South Croydon Junction" (PDF). Ministry of Transport. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
- Nock, O.S.; Cooper, B.K. (1987) . Historic Railway Disasters (4th ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1752-2.
- Rolt, L.T.C.; Kichenside, Geoffrey (1982) . Red for Danger (4th ed.). Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8362-0.