Railway Disaster
Charlestown, Hebden Bridge
[21st June 1912]

On Friday, 21st June 1912, four people were killed, 5 were seriously injured, and over 20 were slightly injured when an engine of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, pulling 7 carriages, took the Charlestown Curve – between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden – bend too quickly and left the rails, crashing into the embankment.

The Liverpool to Leeds express train – a 2-4-2T Number 276 – left Rochdale at 2:45 pm and was due to arrive in Halifax at 3:04 pm. The driver was G. H. Medley, and the stoker was A. Broadhurst. Both men came from Newton Heath and escaped with slight injuries.

The 4 dead were

Three carriages on the train were completely wrecked.

A coffin with the body of a 55-year old Mr Horsefield, which was being carried on the train, was shattered and the corpse kept in a signal box until a new coffin was available.

A report by Colonel Druitt, recommended that the speed of trains on curves should be recorded so that drivers could be informed when the exceeded the authorised speed. There was a speed restriction of 45 mph on the bend, but there was evidence that this was continually exceeded

See Charlestown Curve and Charlestown Station

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 3390

Page Ref: MMC62

search tips advanced search
site search by freefind