Stafford rail crash (1990)

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The train crash at Stafford on 4 August 1990, resulted in the death of a train driver and injuries to 36 people.

The 11:36 pm empty coaching stock train from Stoke-on-Trent to Birmingham Soho Depot ran into the rear of the 10:18 pm express passenger train from Manchester Piccadilly to Penzance, which was standing in platform 4 at Stafford station. The empty train was signalled to draw up behind the express in order to clear the way for another train.[1]

The driver of the empty train, who was the only fatality, was considered not to have kept a good lookout. This was possibly compounded by excessive working hours and by the alcohol that was subsequently found in his bloodstream.[2]

The Rule Book was changed to avoid this situation. Now if a train is to be signalled into an occupied section and that train is not booked to call at that location, the driver must be first advised. Also before a train can be signalled behind another, the signal ahead of the stationary train must be at danger until the second train has come to a stand, to avoid potential 'over-reading' of the signal by the second driver.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Webb, Jonathan (May 2017). "Focus on Stafford". Today's Railways UK. Sheffield: Platform 5 (185): 54–55. ISSN 1475-9713. 
  2. ^ "Railway accident at Stafford" (PDF). Health and Safety Executive. 5 January 1994. p. 14. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°48′12″N 2°7′21″W / 52.80333°N 2.12250°W / 52.80333; -2.12250