Talk:Ladbroke Grove rail crash

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There is no mention in the article of the lack of ATC on the Thames Train, nor of the fact that the area was fitted with ATC when resignalled. I seem to recall that in the Southall crash the ATC was not operational on the HST, but was it in this accident? If the Thames Train had had operational ATC the disaster would have been averted. Could someone add this or indicate where to check the details? Sangwine 19:46, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Simon Wood[edit]

Note that an anon editor has recently changed the age of crash victim Simon Wood from 50 to 40. A Google search on "Simon Wood" +"Ladbroke Grove" shows up a Guardian article which gives his age as 40, all other references which quote an age are copies of the Wikipedia article, where I probably mis-typed the age in the first place. Therefore Mr Wood probably was 40 at the time of the accident, and Google results should not be used to revert his age. Apologies to Mr Wood's family for any distress caused. -- Arwel 22:29, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)


More detilas of the Cullen report would be in order, if anyone has them, please. Andy Mabbett 22:17, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

External Links Section Out of Date[edit]

A mention for any main authors of this article, following the HSE's removal of responsibility for railway safety, the Cullen report is no longer hosted on their site. Whether it is still hosted on the internet on the new RAIB website, I'm not sure. Alspittle 21:22, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Links updated to their new location at -- Arwel (talk) 19:43, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
can also be found at 15:12, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

List of victims[edit]

Mawkish and no real use to the article. So I've removed it. Dave 18:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

John Prescott Quote[edit]

Can anyone provide the quotation from John Prescott immediately after the crash where he threw cost-benefit analysis of safety measures out of the window, and signed the railway up to a "no expense spared" safety regime? 15:10, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Non sequitur?[edit]

I am a bit uncomfortable with "... contributory factors, blaming Thames Trains' driver training procedures (Driver Hodder had only qualified two months earlier)."

Presumably once he had fully qualified, he could properly drive one day later, couldn't he? Afterbrunel (talk) 21:19, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately not - I've added a phrase to explain why Thames' Trains failed to give Driver Michael Hodder the necessary skills he should have had. Ivor the driver (talk) 07:06, 29 July 2009 (UTC)


The Geographic channel has recently (re-)screened a 1-hour feature devoted entirely to the crash. Perhaps an editor would like to dig out the relevant references (talk) 15:34, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Sorry - forgot to log in, Here is my ID Flying Stag (talk) 15:36, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Important technical point for railway nerds[edit]

I have always understood that this accident was 'head-on'. However, this week I have viewed a TV programme about the crash on the Geographic channel (see my edit at "Dramatisation" above).

The TV programme gives conflicting diagrams of the track layout at the scene of the crash. The first is a 3-D simulation which appears to show the Bedwyn train on a track converging with the one carrying the HST. This gives a potentially 'head-on' scenario, although in fact the HST was past the point of convergence, so in fact the impact was more of a glancing effect.

The second TV diagram however gives a different picture, viz: a close-up diagram of the layout as seen by the controller. In this diagram, the two trains are shown on PARALLEL tracks, giving no obvious direct possibility of collision. BUT this diagram shows a simple crossover between the converging trains allowing a transfer either way between the two parallel tracks. From the TV presentation it would seem that the two points (switches) were set 'in opposition', such that the HST would retain its position on its track, whereas the Bedwyn train would move over from its track to the other one (which is what happened), and forcing the second set of point blades as it passed through them.

This raises two questions on which I seek info from editors: 1, Is the 'controller's diagram' correct, in other words, does the layout consist of a crossover between two parallel tracks?

and, if the answer to 1 is YES, how does this fit with the long-established safety practice dating from the 19th century by which signals are interlocked with potential movements, and which I now explain further.

The conventional rules of interlocking mean that with the critical signal SN109 at red, then BOTH points would be locked AGAINST the crossover, thus protecting both trains. Put another way, it should not be possible for the signal to change to amber UNTIL a) there were no conflicting movements under way, and b) BOTH points had been changed to allow safe passage for the Bedwyn train. Since it seems agreed that the signal was in fact showing red, then is should not have been possible for the points to have been changed while a conflicting movement (the HST) was under way. Incidentally, the concept of a 'conflicing movement' was defined in the 19th century as anything moving within 440 yards, though this distance has no doubt been increased to meet modern speeds.

Do the formal reports cover the issue of interlocking. I guess they must do, but am not in a position to check out the detail.

I hope someone can help. Flying Stag (talk) 16:14, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

See the HSE report; the layout is shown on page 51 in Acrobat Reader, numbered 47 bottom centre. The route taken by the DMU is the black dashed line; that of the HST is the grey dashed line. At the point of collision, the six bidirectional tracks from Paddington (indicated as "Line 1" to "Line 6") are coming down to four (Up Relief, Down Relief, Up Main, Down Main - although it looks like six tracks at the bottom, the leftmost two are the carriage roads to Old Oak Common). The HST was coming in on the Up Main, and the DMU, originally on Line 4, had moved to Line 3, which was one of those that didn't continue westwards. So, it's kind-of a parallel track, in that it is parallel east of the crossover. Signal SN109 aside, a contributory factor was that points were set which directed the DMU towards the up main; but they could have been set for the down relief, and if this had been done the Bedwyn train would have moved away from, instead of towards, the HST. See the Cullen report, section 3, particularly 3.13 et seq. The collision was not-quite head-on: see sections 4.2 and 4.4 --Redrose64 (talk) 17:47, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Cost/Benefit Analysis ?[edit]

There is mention of multiple CBAs that all said nah, too much cost for the possible benefits. There is mention of (inconsequential) fines levied. There is mention of 31 people killed and hundreds injured.

There is no mention of lawsuits nor awards to family and people for being unlawfully killed or injured. *That* should have resulted in 10s of millions of 'cost' at least. Am I to believe - is this article to indicate - that if you are killed/injured on the wrong side of CBAs that there are no penalties levied? It is extraordinary that none of this is in the article. (Cough, what industry group wrote this?) Shenme (talk) 01:55, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

@Shenme: None of them. We have some core policies, these include neutral point of view, no original research and verifability - any content added to the article must satisfy all of these. It is possible that no reliable sources have yet been found for the information that you wish to see. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:00, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
@Shenme: The article seeks to report "what happened"; that includes the reported results of CBA. I cannot see that it gives any endorsement of those results, nor of the applicability of CBA to the problem.
Having said that, since I did much of the donkey work of precising the Cullen Report, I presume that it is my good faith that is being challenged, so perhaps I had better reply. I have no connection with the rail industry, but used to work in another regulated industry and have been round the block a few times with our regulator on CBA and ALARP. Consequently, my personal view (which I hope I was careful not to reflect in my edits) is that CBA can be a "false friend" because too rational; its fundamental flaw (at least in the UK) is that the Health and Safety at Work Act requires that risk to the public be eliminated so far as is reasonably practicable, and the judge of reasonableness is - in the last resort - not sums done by experts, but the gut instincts of a jury who have had the issues explained to them. Quite how that lends itself to an accusation of my being an "industry group" (or part thereof) is not immediately obvious to me, and I would welcome an explanation.
The article is not the most appropriate place for an exposition of the CBA methodology applied and if anybody wishes to follow up what the flaws in Cost Benefit Analysis might be, I would suggest that there are other - better - places to pursue this in Wikipedia. For the record, CBA does assign a value to prevented/avoided fatalities: the Joint Inquiry report noted that the value of a prevented fatality (VPF) used by the Dept of Transport etc in 2000 was £m 1.15 (report para 4.23) for road projects and - "to reflect extreme public reaction to accidents involving multiple fatalities, including the fact that the victims have no control over events" - £m 3.22 for "fatalities arising from rail accidents".(para 4.25)
(Further, there is published work on the disconnect between what the Great British public thinks are the priorities for rail safety improvement, and what CBA shows would be the most cost-effective safety measures. Most deaths of members of the public on railway property are (if trespassers and suicides are discounted) due to 'slips trips and falls' (followed, I think, by legitimate use of footpaths crossing the tracks) and simple measures can be identified against them which give a greater reduction in deaths per year for a fraction of the cost of train protection systems. But giving the public what the experts think is best for them, rather than what the public wants, smacks of the formerly rejected doctrine that "the man in Whitehall knows best" ) Rjccumbria (talk) 20:23, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
As a PS - a search on the internet shows a number of law firms saying what compensation they secured for their clients. There is no obvious sign of any referenceable total for compensation paid, but from the sums reported it would seem unlikely to have exceeded the notional £m 3.22 per fatality. Rjccumbria (talk) 20:32, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
No, you are not right to believe that. You have not done enough research on the news reports of the time, and later. Indeed the article does not say that. You are to believe that Thames Trains was expected to pay 80% of a reported £60 million in compensation for the accident, and that Railtrack would have to pay the rest.[1] But, even that might not be all, I have seem reports of individual compensation awards that were described as substantial but undisclosed --Terry Patterson (talk) 21:39, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Number of fatalities/maths unclear[edit]

I can't make sense of the following text (or arithmetic) involved. Suggest re-wording or correcting the maths.

The drivers of both trains involved were killed, as well as 29 others (24 on the Turbo train, 9 on the HST as a result of the impact, with a further fatality as a result of the fire) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Number injured[edit]

We currently have 'more than 258' in the lead and 523 in the infobox. The HSE report lists the number of passengers and staff in each coach, the numbers killed and either the number injured or uninjured in paragraphs 4.52 to 4.59. I'm not sure if it's OR to work out the number injured where necessary and add them up but it would seem to be the most reliable source.

Coach Passengers Staff Total Uninjured Injured Killed
Power car 1 1 0 1
H 36 36 30 6
G 42 42 2 40
F 30 2 32 4 28
E 85 85 29 56
D 74 74 22 52
C 64 64 23 41
B 40 40 17 23
A 47 1 48 19 29
Turbo Front 25 1 26 0 6 20
Turbo Middle 60 60 2 55 3
Turbo Rear 62 62 4 57 1
Total 565 5 570 122 417 31

Cavrdg (talk) 13:00, 13 July 2018 (UTC)