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The wreck of the Irish Mail at Tamworth in 1870

LMS Route: Birmingham New Street to Tamworth

Tamworth Low Level Station (109) Tamworth High Level (40) Report on 1870 Irish Mail Accident

Document Summary - The wreck of the Irish Mail at Tamworth in 1870

The report into the wreck of the Irish Mail at Tamworth in 1870. This document was published on 15th September 1870 by Board of Trade. It was written by Captain HW Tyler. This item is linked to the Accident at Tamworth on 14th September 1870 The original document format was Bound Volume, and comprised 6 pages. This document was kindly sourced from University of Leicester Library and is in The Rail Archive Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 27th October 2005. This document is Crown Copyright, and is subject to the terms governing the reproduction of crown copyright material. Depending on the status and age of the original document, you may need an OPSI click-use license if you wish to reproduce this material, and other restrictions may apply. Please see this explanation for further details.

"The train approached Tamworth about 4.9, thirteen minutes late; and the rear guard observed that the distant-signal and the intermediate signal were both at all right, showing white lights. The guard heard the engine-driver whistle, a series of sharp whistles, which be calls "the alarm whistle," as soon as he had passed under the Gungate bridge; and he applied his continuous breaks without loss of time. He estimates the speed of the train, when he heard this whistle sounded, at 45 miles an hour; and believes it was the usual travelling speed of the train in approaching and passing through the Tamworth station. He noticed that the upper lamp on the home signal post, which applied to the through line, showed a red light, but he did not notice the condition of the lower lamp, which applied to the platform line. His breaks were fully on before be passed that post. He felt a lurch in passing it from which he was aware that the train was running up the platform line in place of passing along the through line. He saw, after he had applied his own break, sparks flying from break-blocks in front of the train, and he believes that the speed was reduced from 45 to 15 miles an hour before the engine struck the buffer-stop at the end of the fuel siding.

The engine mounted the buffer-stop, and ran over it, falling 24 yards beyond it, on its wheels, but at right angles to the line of its path, in the middle of the river. The tender fell on its side, with its wheels to the rear, and lay also at right angles to the line, but with its leading end in the opposite direction, partly on the engine."

A copy of the full report and map showing the site of the accident can be obtained here via courtesy of Rail Archive.