3rd JANUARY 1869

Extracted and adapted from the report by

F.H. Rich Leiut Col. R.E.

On the 3rd January 1869, a accident occurred  near Streatham Junction, on the section of the London, Brighton, and South coast Railway, between Victoria station and Wimbledon. No person has complained of being injured.

On the day in question, a train which consisted of a tank engine, travelling with its funnel in front, a third, a second, two first class, and a third class carriage, with a break compartment in which the guard rode, left Wimbledon for Victoria at 3.31 p.m., which was its proper time.

The carriages of the train were coupled together in the order above given.

The train stopped at Hayden Lane and Tooting stations. The driver approached Streatham South Junction at a speed of about 10 miles per hour. He passed safely through the junction point at a speed of about 8 miles per hour. He had shut off steam at this time, and his engine was running down the incline of 1 in 100 towards Streatham North Junction, which is about 300 yards from the South Junction, when the off leading wheel of the engine mounted and after running on the outside of the rail for 80 or 100 yards, the near leading wheel and both trailing wheels also got off the rails. The off leading wheel mounted at a spot about 80 yards from the South Streatham Junction, just above the north abutment of the first under bridge beyond the junction.

The train was brought to a stand about 150 yards from the place where the off leading wheel mounted. The driving wheels of the engine remained on the rails and all the carriages of the train on the rails. The off side life guard of the engine was slightly damaged, but no further was done to the train.

The maintenance of this bank has given a good deal of trouble, and the company have for some time past ordered it to be carefully watched. The contractors foreman of the platelayers, who is in charge of the length, had visited the spot about 12.30 p.m. on the day of the accident, which happened about 3.43 p.m. He had found it in good order. His men had been at work there two days previous.

The curve of the line between Streatham North Junction and South Junctions is 18 chains. The engine mounted the outside rail of the curve.

The line was found true to gauge after the accident, but the super elevation of the outer rail was found to be about 4 inches on the under bridge and 2 1/2 to 3 inches at each side of the under bridge.

This difference in the level of the rails was, no doubt, caused by the clay bank sinking at each side the abutments of the under bridge, and I think that the change of level, together with the change from the hard formation on the under bridge to the softer formation of the bank, caused the right leading wheel of the engine to mount.

The engine No.214, is reported to have been in good order at the time, and has continued running since the accident. Her leading wheels are 5 feet diameter, and carry 11 tons 10 C.W.T. The trailing wheels are 3 feet 9 inches diameter, and carry 11 tons, when the engine is supplied with coal and water. The distance between the leading and driving wheels is 7 feet 8 inches, and between the driving and trailing wheels it is 8 feet 7 inches.

The engine was run to Victoria on the evening of the accident, and was there examined. Her wheels were found to be true gauge, and the springs were found to be sound.

Previous to the accident the L.B.S.C.R. Company had cautioned the engine drivers to run very carefully over this portion of their line. The speed over these new lines should be very slow till the clay banks are consolidated, as owing to the last very dry summer and the very heavy rains that have fallen during the last two months, they will probably continue to move for some time to come.

In the present case the engine driver appears to have been running carefully, and the guard appears to have been on the look out, and to have applied his break very expeditiously.

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