One of the main reasons for doing these web sites is to try and explain to everybody the history of the footplate grades, the conditions they had to work in and the creation of the A.S.L.E.F. branches within the Brighton & Sussex area.

I am therefore very grateful for people sending me personal photos from their personal collection and for allowing me to display them on the web sites. But unfortunately what is missing, are the stories that accompany them. What I want to do is to try and remedy this by starting to record the remaining stories that are still out there, before they too are lost in the midst of time.

I have added some information about some of the drivers that I know and the comments that have already have been sent to me.

If you too have any stories about your own working life on the footplate, the people that you worked with and the conditions you had to work in please send me and I will post, on the web site.

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the history of the Brighton Branch of ASLEF 


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the Brighton Motive Power Depot




14th MARCH 1980


On the 14th March 1980 a derailment of an empty diesel-electric multiple-unit train at Appledore Station in the Southern Region of British Railways. 

Just as the empty train, which was made up of vehicles destined for attention in the workshops at Chart Leacon Depot, was entering Appledore Station at 21.05 it became derailed on the facing crossover to the west of the Station. The leading power-car. which turned over onto its side. was severely damaged and all the remaining four vehicles suffered varying degrees of lesser damage. I regret to report that the driver of the train, Driver A. I. Emery, was killed and that the guard who was travelling with him in the cab received minor injuries for which he was conveyed to hospital by ambulance but was discharged shortly afterwards.

The crossover was severely damaged at the trailing end and both tracks through the platforms were buckled or otherwise misplaced. Repairs to the track wcre completed by 01.00 on Sunday 16th March and the line was re-opened to traffic at the beginning of the normal service on the following day.

The weather at the time of the accident was fine and dry


The Site

1. The line between Ashford and Hastings is non-electrified as far as Ore and, until September 1979. was double track throughout. However on the 30th September 1979 some 17 miles of the line were singled from a point just east of Ore Station to a point about 273 m west of Appledore Station where it again became double. A passing loop was retained at Rye some 7 miles to the west of Appledore. The new single line ran partly on the alignment of the former Down line and partly on that of the former Up line; the changes in alignment being made by sluing the track. At the time of the derailment, much of the redundant track had yet to be removed. Approaching Appledore from Ore (the Up direction) the single line ran for 2 miles 43 chains on the alignment of the former Down line. The line is wry lightly graded. It is level for just under two miles until 805 m past Becketts Level Crossing. It then undulates for the next 1 1/4 miles before again becoming level some 611 m before the double line at Appledore begins. A gradient diagram is included on the plan at the front of the report. A trailing crossover had existed at the Rye end of the Down platform at Appledore but, in the remodelling, this had been moved bodily some 57 m towards Rye and had become a facing turnout, No. 21, in the Up direction; the remainder of the connections remained as they were previously. A permanent speed restriction (PSR) to 20 milelh in the Up direction was imposed over the diverging turnout No. 21 and a standard 'cut-out' sign crected 22 m in rear. The platforms at Appledore are staggered so that the Ashford end of the Down platform is almost opposite the Rye end of the Up platform. Both platforms are brilliantly lit by fluorescent lights which are not shielded to prevent glare towards approaching trains. There is a gated level crossing at the Ashford end of the station with the signal box alongside it on the Down side

The Signalling

2. Trains are signalled between Appledore and Ore under the Tokenless Block system. using track circuits and direction switches for each of the two sections Appledore to Rye and Rye to Ore. Absolute Block Regulations apply between Ore and Hastings. All the signals at Appledore were semaphore signals with the exception of the Down Starter which was a two-aspect colour-light signal with a junction indicator. The Up signals had been left in their places alongside the old Up line which had not been removed and were therefore some distance to the left of the line to which they then referred. The cross-over was worked only at its Down end. the Up end being disconnected and clipped and padlocked. The line is not equipped with the British Railways Automatic Warning System (A WS). A layout diagram is included on the plan at the front of this report. 

The Train

3. The empty coaching stock train (5288) consisted of parts of three different units of classes 201. 202 and 203 diesel-electric multiple units (Hastings Six-Car Units). The actual formation of the train with the reason for movement of each of the 5 cars was:

Power Car 60036 of unit 1033for bogie change leading
Trailer Car 60541 of unit 1017for wheel change
Power Car 60037 of unit 1033 to make a pair with 60036. no attention required 

Power Car 60000 of unit 1001for ultrasonic axle test to programme
Power Car 60001 of unit 1001for ultrasonic axle test to programme.

Each power car was fitted with a 500 hp diesel engine driving a generator mounted in a compartment immediately behind the driving cab. Two electric traction motors were mounted on the bogie remote from the cab. The nominal weight of each power car was 55 tons. The whole train weighed 248 tons 17 cwt and was 313 ft X in over couplings. The units were equipped with electropneumatic and Westinghouse automatic continuous brakes but not with AWS. Such a train is run on Fridays only, as required, so that workshop attention can be given at Chart Leacon Depot, Ashford. for stock normally stabled in the Hastings area and is always marshalled with power cars in pairs to ensure that there is a driving cab at each end. The condition of the stock involved in the derailment was such that it was quite fit to run at normal speed and no restriction of any kind had been placed upon it. None of the engines or brakes had been isolated.

Course of the Accident

4. The train dcparted St Leonards (West Marina) at 20.17. At Rye it was stopped to remove some children who had apparently joined the train whilst it was standing for about 15 minutes at Hastings. It left Rye at 20.55 but was again checked at Becketts Level Crossing some 3 miles to the west of Appledore. The train was coasting towards Appledore at 60 milelh under clear signals ushenthe driver reapplied power after passing the Up Distant Signal. Almost at once the train reached the crossover where it derailed on the reverse curve, splitting the points at the trailing end. The leading coach turned over onto its left side, throwing the driver out, and came to rest with its leading end approximately 18 m past the toe of the Up platform ramp. the remainder of the coaches followed it into derailment.


As to the condition of the track and the course of the derailment

5. Mr. V . Beretta. Assistant Area Civil Engineer, Tonbridge said that nothing had been moved by the time he had reached the site and he later helped to make a plan of the damage to the track. He said that the crossover which had been originally laid in 1977 was moved to its present position some 57 m towards Rye during the latter part of 1979. The same material had been used and the fastenings were as tight and sound after the crossover had been moved as they had been when it was in its original place. Mr. Beretta said that the track was normally patrolled by Patrolman Ali whom he said was competent to carry out track patrol duties. He was sure that if Ali had noticed any defects he would have reported them. Ali had actually inspected the crossover on the Friday morning before the derailment.

6. Mr. Beretta said that he himself had carried out an inspection on the Wednesday before the derailment. Although he was looking specifically for weld failures he had coupled this inspection with his normal examination of the area. He had inspected the track thoroughly on 12th March and found it to he in perfect order. He said that on his examination after the derailment it was apparent that the leading wheels had climbed over the right-hand rail in the direction of travel at 35.78 metres from the switch tips of the first turnover. There were some marks on the other side of the rail which indicated that the heavy bruising on the baseplates had occurred where the wheels had dropped off. All these marks are shown on the diagram opposite. Other marks were consistent with the fact that at least one of the bogies took a course between the switch and the stock rail. There was also a heavy wear mark on the right-hand rail of the curve and almost no mark on the left-hand rail indicating that the wheels on this side were running light. He had not observed any marks on the nose of the second half of the crossover and that there were no signs of the plain rails having been moved or displaced, but at the facing switch end there had been a slight movement of the sleepers. He confirmed that no rail had turned over on its side and all were still fastened in position.

7. Mr. R. F. Bonham-Carter, Assistant Divisional Civil Engineer (Permanent Way) South Eastern Division, said that the crossover was of the most modern design, a CV 9 1/4 crossover in 113 lb FB rail. He also was satisfied as to the condition of the crossover after it was moved. He explained that a speed restriction to 20 mile!h is applied to such a crossover because the design maximum rate of gain of cant 

deficiency of 80 mm per second over the reverse curve limits the design maximum s p e d to 23 mileih. He said that this theoretical speed is a long way below the over-turning limit and is used purely for ride comfort. He agreed with Mr. Beretta's conclusion that the likely cause of the derailment was that the leading bogie had failed to take the curve properly. In this respect he felt that the most significant mark was that on the right-hand rail of the curve. This was not just a heavy mark but was actually displaced from the normal running position which implied that the wheel had rolled and was running on the outside edge of the rail-head and not in the usual position on the crown. He said that it was also significant that the right-hand set of wheels became derailed onto the baseplates before the left-hand wheels had actually touched the corresponding place on the outside of the left-hand rail and he considered that the marks shown at 35.78 and 36.64 metres were the first marks of the derailment. He said some skid marks which were quite definitely braking skid marks had been found on the approaches to the crossover hut they could have been made by any set of wheels and could have been made some time before the accident. He confirmed that a speed restriction hoard for 20 milelh, an unlit 'cut-out' sign, was positioned at the point at which the speed restriction began and that this restriction referred purely to the speed over the crossover.

As to the running of the Iruirzs

8. On duty in Rye Signal Box from 14.44 until 23.45 was Signalman H. F. Hillier who had worked the same turn the previous night. Because trains arc signalled on the Tokenless Block system he recorded the time of 20.37, which was when the indicator showed in his box that 5288 was passing Ore Station, as being the time at which he accepted it. He said that he restored his acceptance switch to normal when the train arrived at 20.53 which was a minute earlier than the hooked time for passing Rye of 20.54. He described the method of signalling a train from Rye to Appledore and said that he offered the train forward some time before the train had arrived at Rye. However on this occasion he had to stop the train at Rye to allow some children to alight. He therefore kept his Up Home Signal at Danger until the train had slowed right down: the train then made a perfectly normal stop in the platform. He did not pass the guard as he ran the whole length of the train after leaving his signal box and therefore spoke to the driver. He heard the driver, who seemed perfectly normal, make a remark about passengers on the train to somebody sitting beside him whom he took to be the guard. He had not noticed how many of the engines on the train were running. When hc returned to his signal box he cleared the signals for the train to depart and then pressed the 'Train Arrived' button to inform the signalman at Hastings that the train had arrived. Hillier said that the train had left Rye at 20.55. He had then received the 'Obstruction Danger' bell signal from Appledore at 21.07. He had earlier spoken to the signalman at Appledore who had commented on the fact that the train was taking longer than usual to reach him from Rye. Signalman Hillier agreed with this and his impression was that the driver was not pushing thc train hard as it had taken ahout the normal time to reach Rye from Ore.

9. The crossing keeper at Becketts Crossing on the evening in question was Crossirlg Keeper W. Caulfield. He described the equipment in his crossing keeper's box and how he had closed the gates and cleared his Down Distant Signal after hearing the train annunciator shortly before 21.00. Because he could not see a train approaching and because a car. which had come from Appledore. had been waiting to cross for about 3 to 4 minutes he restored the signal to Caution and went to open the gates. He then heard an Up train approaching so he replaced the gate lock lever. Assuming that the train driver had seen the-Up Distant Signal at Caution, he gave a green hand-signal hut received no acknowledgement. He thought that the train had not stopped but was coasting before he heard the engines accelerate. He too was unahle to say if the leading cngine had been running as the train passed him.

10. O n duty at Appledore Signal Box was Signalman P. Fletcher. H e was on the 11.30 to 23.25 shift which he had also worked the previous day. He noticed that the signalman at Rye had turned his switch at the usual time 20.56 which was the first indication of the approach of the empty coaching stock train. He also heard the signalman at Rye use the block bell to warn the crossing keeper. Fletcher said that he then offered the train onto Ashford, who accepted it. and then waited for the normally allowed time of approximately 6 minutes before opening the level crossing gates and lowering the signals for the train to have a clear run. He said that the actual running time between Rye and Appledore was about 9 minutes. On that night at approximately 21.02 he had opened the gates of the level crossing and cleared all the Up signals including the distant. He was absolutely certain that all the signals responded correctly to his pulling the levers in spite of the fact that the lamp indicator which is a combined instrument for the Up Home and Up Distant Signals was unserviceable. He said that the arm repeater on the Distant was showing 'OFF'. Because the train seemed to be an unusually long time in arriving he telephoned the level crossing at Becketts and asked the crossing keeper whether the train was in sight. He was told that it had left the level crossing and at that moment the indicator for Track Circuit 'C'.which is the berth track circuit for the Up Home Signal. lit up. He estimated that the time was about 21.04. He said that he had been standing where he usually stood at the Rye end of the lever frame. He confirmed that his 

view of the approaching train was somewhat obscured by one of the other signals and he could not see the train until the leading end was just about level with the Down Starting Signal. At that stage the train was nearly onto the crossover. He said the train did not begin to sway violently until it was past the crossover. It seemed to sway first towards the Down side and then back up again and then it went over onto its left side, sliding towards his signal box. He said that there were a lot of sparks which were on the side nearest him but he was not able to see the bogie clearly. His impression was that the sparks were coming from the brakes. H e said that he couldn't hear a noise; neither was he able to judge the approaching speed of the train. He thought that the derailment had occurred at about 21.05. He said that normal length of time had elapsed from the time at which the track circuit indicator first lit up to when they saw the head code on the front of the train. He had told the signalman at Rye that there had been an accident at 21.07.

11. He confirmed that the 20.48 Down train from Ashford which he had accepted at 20.47 and for which he had received the 'Train Entering Section' signal at 20.49 had already reached Appledore. He allowed about 9 minutes after accepting down trains from Ashford before he opened the level crossing gates and that therefore he would have expected that train to have arrived at about 20.58. If the empty coaching stock train was running to time he normally had to hold the 20.48 at the Down Home Signal. By the time that the empty stock train had arrived, the 20.48 had been waiting for about 7 minutes at the signal.

12. Signalman Fletcher said that after the accident had occurred he returned all the Up signals to Danger and the crew of the train from Ashford protected the accident in that direction. He confirmed the latter with the driver. The guard from 5288 was brought in to his signal box by the Driver Davies of the 20.48 whom he left to look after the guard until such time as he, Fletcher, was able to go to his car to collect his overcoat to put over the guard. Shortly after that the ambulance arrived and took the guard to hospital. The guard had not actually said anything to him but he did overhear the guard saying something about "he was going too fast". Fletcher said that during that week he had not had a report from any driver that any of the signal lamps were out and after the accident somebody had confirmed that the lamp in the Up Distant Signal was alight.

As to the running of the train and the course of the accident

13. The guard of 5Z88 was Guard A. J. Rawlings who was based at Ashford and had been a guard for about 12 years. He estimated that he had worked over the Ashford to Hastings line some 6 or 7 times in a year before 30th September 1979. After the change to single line he had worked one Down train hut no Up trains before the accident. During that one working he had travelled in the guard's compartment and had looked out of his window but he had only been over the Up line after the change as a passenger. H e was not very familiar with the layout and, although he had a plan, for which he had signed, from the resignalling notice, he said that he did not always fully understand these notices which he received from time to time. He agreed that he had signed a route-knowledge form for the Ashford to Hastings line. He also agreed that it had become normal practice for guards of this particular empty coaching stock train to ride in the leading cab with the driver but he had not done so previously. He said that he had booked-off duty at about 22.00 on 13th March and had booked-on again at 15.00 the following afternoon. His rostered turn made him available for any duty which occurred until he was booked to travel as a passenger to St Leonards to work the 20.17 empty coaching stock train to Chart Leacon. This turn did not finish upon reaching Ashford but that was the end of the scheduled duties. He was nevertheless keen to get toAshford from Chart Leacon, which was one of the reasons he accepted Driver Emery‚Äôs invitation to ride in the cab.

14. Rawlings had arrived at St Leonards (West Marina) at about 18.55 and had met Emery in the drivers' lobby. Because it was too early to have gone down to their train they remained in the lobby, talking, for about half-an-hour. Then they had walked down to the train after asking a shunter where it was. He said that Driver Emery went to the Ashford end of the train and had asked him to go to the opposite end in order to carry out a brake continuity test. As he went. Emery had inspected the train. Rawlings said that he had heard the engines being started but was unable to tell at that time how many were actually working. He said that he had climbed into the driver's cab at the Bexhill end of the train so that he could make the usual brake test from the most rearward point and in order to he in a position to control the propelling movement into the reception road. When the shunter had called the train back. Rawlings gave the appropriate reversing signal on the communicating bell to the driver. The driver set back and also stopped the train at the right point: Rawlings did not touch the brake. He was unable to recall the actual brake air-pressure reading on the gauge as he was only half-looking at it. The cab lights were out but the gauge itself was dimly illuminated.

15. Rawlings said that Emery had no difficulty in stopping the train at Hastings. As he walked up the platform he had not noticed how many of the engines were running but he was positive that the one 

immediately behind the leading cab was. He had also made a perfunctory visual check as he walked beside the train. checking to see that the lights were out and that there was nobody inside it. He had not seen anyone on the platform, which was on the driver's side, and had not seen the young people who had apparently climbed into the train after he had passed. After about 15 minutes the signal cleared and Emery had looked hack down to the platform to see that it was safe to proceed before drawing away. He thought that Emery had confirmed to him that there was nobody on the platform.

16. When they reached Rye. Rawlings was sure that the Distant Signal was at Caution and that he could also see one red light although he was uncertain which signal it was that was showing a Red aspect. He said he did not have his copy of the Signalling Notice with him and had not taken the opportunity of discussing the revised signalling with Driver Emery on the way up from St Leonards. but they had had quite a long conversation ahout more general and personal matters. Rawlings said that neither he nor the driver had expected to be stopped at Rye. Rawlings had not heard what the signalman had said to Emery u~hilsthey were stopped but afterwards Emery had told him what had happened and had told him to remain where he was as the signalman had taken the necessary action. Apart from that incident the journey had been perfectly normal and the speed had seemed neither faster nor slower than usual. When the Rye Up Starting Signal had been cleared the drher had again looked back along the train before starting at the time hooked for passing Rye. 20.53.

17. On the approach to Becketts Level Crossing Emery had remarked about the crossing keeper always being the same and had approached the level crossing quite carefully because, he said, that he had had trouble therc before. Rawlings said that he had seen a car approaching the crossing some 3 or 4 minutes before the train reached it hut then he noticed the crossing keeper come out of his hut, open the gates and let it go half-way across the crossing before sending it back. He could see the crossing keeper quite clearly as the latter had a lamp in his hand with which he had shown a green light after he had sent the car back. Rawlings said that he could not remember if Emery had sounded the train's horn before or after they had stopped but he thought that it was before. He said that the train had stopped completely for about one minute about 50 yards short of the crossing before receiving the signal to proceed. Emery had then accelerated the train quite smoothly but not particularly quickly.

18. Rawlings agreed that the most obvious thing about the approach to Appledore was the station lights and he remembered that the Up Distant Signal was Clear. He had, however, not really seen it until the train had almost passed it. but he had noticed that all the other signals were Clear. He thought. without being able to be precise. that it was somewhere between the Distant and Home Signals the driver had said to him "Coo-we've got the road" and he had heard him accelerate. The next thing he knew was that they were at the crossover and had turned over. He confirmed that as the train was approaching Appledore it was coasting and that Emery had accelerated after he had seen the Up Distant Signal. He was emphatic that the driver had seemed rather surprised that the Distant Signal was Clear and in fact was surprised that all the signals were Clear. Rawlings said that he actually saw Emery move the controller up into a higher notch but was unable to say precisely whereabouts this happened. He said that the speed had fallen appreciably from the 50 to M1 mileih which it had been on the approach to Appledore and he was a little surprised that Emery had reapplied power. He thought that the train passed the Up Home Signal at about 30 mileih. He said that he felt it was going too fast entering the crossover, but his impression for the correct speed for taking such crossovers was based entirely on traversing similar ones at 20 milelh and he was sure that they were taking the one at Appledore much faster than that. He said that the train had lurched first to the right and then to the left but was unable to say whereabouts on the crossover this took place. He could not be certain as to whether or not Driver Emery had shut-off power at any stage but he now believed that it had not been before the train had overturned. He wal also uncertain as to whether or not he had heard the Driver's Safety Device (DSD) being released or the emergency brake being used. He said the reason he had not called out to Emery about going too fast over the crossover was that by then it was too late, but he agreed that he had later made a remark about it in the signal box.

l . The driver of the 20.48 passenger train from Ashford to Hastings was Driver D. P. Davies. He had worked the same turn throughout that week previously and had had plenty of rest before booking on duty. He said that the 20.48 service only crossed with another train at Appledore on Friday nights when the special empty coaching stock train ran and would then be held at the Down Home Signal. No. 5. The night of the accident was the first time this had happened to him but it has occurred on other occasions subsequently as he has since worked the corresponding turn some four or five times. Davies said that he had been held at the signal for some three to five minutes but did not then know the reason. He saw the headcode of the approaching train and the movement into the crossover. Although he could see clearly as far as the Down Starting Signal he did not think he could see the actual crossover. As the empty coaching stock train turned into the curve of the crossover he saw a shower of sparks but he was unable to estimate if the train was leaning over more heavily than he would have expected. The whole view then seemed to go dim as through a cloud of dust but he saw the coaches moving about. As soon 

as he realised what was happening he secured his own train, told his guard, and then ran up to the station. The second coach of the other train was standing upright but the leading coach had turned over onto its left-hand side. When he reached the leading cab some members of the public told him that there was someone inside. He looked through the window, calling out as he did so. A voice answered him telling him that he was the guard. Davies helped him out through the driver's front window which was smashed. Some cars had by then been brought round by the back of the station buildings so that their headlights could illuminate the scene. Someone had said "I think the driver is lying back here" so he went to the end of the platform and in the light of his torch saw the driver lying underneath the coach just behind the guard's brake compartment, ahout where the first passenger door was. Davies had attempted to open the engine room door from on top of the coach but it was jammed. So too was the door into thc hrake compartment and he therefore went to the far end of the coach and climbed down over the end of the vestibule. The vestibule door was held open for him and he climbed in. However before doing so he had closed the brake-air cock on the leading end of the first upright coach as air was escaping from the parted pipe and he had also stopped one engine using the local stop button. He had not noticed if either of the remaining two engines were running. He had left the guard on the platform whilst he went to look for the driver but afterwards returned and took Guard Rawlings up to the signal box. He could not recall the latter making any remarks about the running of the train as he did so.

20. Davies said that as he was extricating the guard from the leading cab he noticed only the position of the master switch which was in the forward position with the key in its position. He had returned it, without thinking, to the Off position in order to try and silence the fire bells hut replaced it where it had been. He could not comment about the brake handle position and thought that the guard might have kicked it as he was getting out.

21. Driver Davies described the Up approach to Appledore Station at night and said that the brightly lit station lamps tended to blind the view of the signals but if the Distant Signal was showing Green then the run through the station was clear. He did not consider that thcre could be any confusion in a driver's mind as to his whereabouts because of all the lights on the station. The latter did not show up the lie of the points, which were however plainly there, neither did they really show up the remainder of the layout. He said that it became apparent exactly where you were when the cab was about level with the Lydd Branch Home Signal, No. 31. which was about 60 metres from the crossover. He considered that the singling of the line had made the station lights slightly more obtrusive than they were but that the view of the aspect of the Up Distant Signal was about the same. Because of the change in angle of approach there was a slight difference in the view of the layout which perhaps emphasised the fact that more care was needed. Driver Davies said that he had had no unaccustomed difficulty in picking out his own signals on the Down approach to Appledore that night and agreed that Driver Emery should have been able to pick up the aspects of the Up signals just as easily

As to Driver Emery, his rostering and other matters

22. motive Power Supervisor W . Burt was the supervisor on duty at St Leonards (West Marina) on 14th March 1980 when Driver Emery booked-on for a special rostered duty. It was the latter's normal rest day. Emery had booked-off at 00.10on 14th March 1980 and had been due to book-on again at 16.15. Mr. Burt said that Emery lived at Ore so that he would have been home about 01.00. On the evening of the accident he had booked on 5 minutes early at 16.10. The turn involved preparation of the cmpty coaching stock train and after a short break the driver would then work the train may at 20.17. He confirmed that Driver Emery had prepared the empty coaching stock train on this occasion. He said that as far as he was concerned Emery was perfectly normal when he booked on duty and that he was tit in all respects for duty. T o Mr. Burt's knowledge Emery did not have any domestic trouble or anything else which was particularly worrying him. Over the many years which he had known Emery he had always regarded him as a teetotaller and had never known him to take a drink. (It was confirmed at the Coroner's Inquest by Mrs. Emery that Driver Emery did not drink). Mr. Burt said that Emery could not preparc the train immediately when he booked-on because it was still in service and had to be marshalled. Emery had been talking to him for about 1 hour after booking-on and had had his tea and sandwiches, which he had brought with him, in the messroom. Mr. Burt said that two shunters and two other drivers marshalled the train and had then stabled it. He had walked down as far as his office with Driver Emery and Guard Rawlings who then continued on to the carriage-cleaning shed in order to prcpare the train. He said that drivers normally walked down to the train on their own and then would walk around it as part of the preparation. Mr. Burt confirmed that none of those who were responsible for marshalling the train had made any comments about the brakes or any other aspects of the train being unusual, tie said that Emery was well aware that the formation of that particular train meant that it had much power for very little weight as he personally had told him. He considered that Emery was a very observant and meticulous man and that with his experience he should have had an extremely good knowledge of the route.

23. Mr . G. Plant, Lisl Clerk Ashford Motive Power Depot confirmed that Driver Emcry had signed 

 the route-knowledge sheet entry for the Ashford to Hastings line. He had re-signed the sheet on the day before the accident and his signature was witnessed by Mr. Chandler who was one of the other motive power supervisors at St Leonards. Plant said that he also held Driver Emery's signature for Signal Instruction (Yellow Notice) No. 49 SED which gave details of the new signalling between Ore and Appledore. He was unable to say how many times Emery would have driven over the line between Hastings and Ashford in the six months before it was singled but he had driven over it 37 times after that event. From the rostering sheets he had seen that Emery had worked the special empty coaching stock train on two previous occasions before the evening of the accident: the last one being on 29th February 1980, a fortnight before.

24. Mr. J. A. Elliorr, Divisional Movements Manager Sourh Easrern Division told me that Driver Emery had spent his entire working life based on St Leonards (West Marina) Motive Power Depot and that depot has a roster of 54 drivers; 19 of their turns per week involve working trains between Hastings and Ashford. He estimated that Driver Emery would probably have worked a total of between 121 and 127 journeys in the Hastings to Ashford direction in 54 weeks hut this was only an estimate as several other factors could have given rise to a greater number of similar journeys. He agreed that it was now impossible for a Down train to be signalled into the station at Appledore until an Up train from Rye, signalled into the Up platform, had cleared the single line. It would therefore normally be possible for an approaching Up train to have the Up Home Signal and probably the Up Starting Signal clear. He was not able to say how many times Up trains were in fact given a free run through Appledore station with the Up Distant Signal cleared; neither was he able to say exactly how many times the Distant Signal was at Caution as opposed to being Clear. He had interviewed a number of drivers from St Leonards and the consensus of their opinion was that since the singling of the line the Up Distant Signal was Clear on the majority of occasions whereas before the singling it was invariably at Caution.

25. Mr. Elliot said that he was not entirely satisfied as to the route knowledge of Guard Rawlings but he pointed out that the latter worked in a link which was basically involved in freight duties at Ashford and that particular link only had one turn of duty which included the empty coaching stock trip. As there were 32 men in the link Rawlings was not often rostered over the Hastings to Ashford line. He considered that Rawlings had assimilated some of the notice giving the details of the resignalling between Ore and Appledore but it was obvious that he was not as familiar with it as a driver would have been. He said that the guards had been given an opportunity to seek further information about the resignalling should they have needed it but nobody had asked for any additional instruction. This was not surprising as it was mostly the Ashford and St Leonards passenger guards who worked that line regularly and who would have been well aware of the work being done. He agreed that it was the guard's own responsibility to ensure that he was properly equipped with route knowledge and that his signature on the sheet was his acceptance that he had acquired the requisite knowledge to work over the route.

As to the mechanical condition of the train and subsequent examination
26. Mr. A. J.Barter, Divisional Traction Engineer South Eastern Division said that he had arrived

at the scene of the accident between 05.00 and 06.(X) on the following morning but that. when he had arrived, only the leading coach had been righted, the remainder had not been moved. He commented on the formation of the train and said that he was quite satisfied that nothing on the train had any relevance to the derailment. The work for which the coaches were being returned to Chart Leacon would not have required anyone to have imposed a speed restriction, to have isolated any of the brakes or to haw placed any other restriction on the running of the train. He said that he had inspected the crossover with the Area Civil Engineer and he afterwards checked and confirmed the drawing which the latter had made. He entirely agreed with Mr. Bonham-Carter's view of the mechanism of the derailment. He had concluded that because there was no corresponding mark on the left-hand rail to those on the right where the wheels had come off the rail the bogie must have careered round the curve on two wheels. From the bruising marks on the wheels which corresponded with those on the fixed blocks of the second half of the crossover. Mr. Barter was convinced that it was the leading bogie which had done the damage and that the other bogies had followed it into derailment.

27. Mr. Barter said that he had instructed his Electrical and Brake inspector to carry out as much work as possible on the damaged vehicles to enable a valid brake test to be made. The Inspector was able to get compressed air from the engine on the second power car of the train to test the rear four coaches. This established that both the electro-pneumatic (EP) and the automatic air-brakes were working correctly. However there were so many leaks in the brake pipe on the leading coach that he was unable to get full pressure but he managed to establish that both the DSD and the emergency brake application operated correctly. Brake components from the leading car were tested individually and proved to work properly. Mr. Barter said that although most of the units had had new brake blocks comparatively recently they were all satisfactorily bedded in. 

 28 Mr. J. Perry, Depot Engineer Chief mechanical und Electrical Engineer's Inrpection Shed Sr Leonards said that the driver's repair book had shown that the speedometer of the leading unit had been fluctuating. The speedometer was tested and found to be accurate within acceptable limits but some fluctuation occurred when the unit was in Notch 7 (full power). Since the unit had not been in Notch 7 as the train approached the crossover Mr. Perry concluded that Driver Emery should havc had an accurate indication of speed had he looked at the speedometer.

29. Mr. J. E. Vine, Mechanical and Electrical Engineer (Running Mainrenance) Chief!Mechanical and Electrical Engineer's Department Southern Region told me that he had arrived some l.$hours after the accident had occurred and had immediately checked the engines to see whether or not they had all been running. He was certain that the three rear engines had been but was less sure about the leading engine because it had been exposed in the crash and would have cooled down more quickly than the others. He checked the controls on the leading coach and found that the master switch was in the forward position, the controller handle off and the DSD released, and the brake handle in the running and release position. He had carried out some calculations as to the possible runnins of the train. From the other evidence that the fourth engine had been running and Guard Rawling's statement that power had been applied after passing the Up Distant Signal. he was able to calculate that the train could have reached the maximum line speed of 60 milelh. probably shortly after passing the 654 mile post, even if it had stopped at Becketts Level Crossing. If the train speed at the crossover were to be reduced to 20 mileih. the service brake application would have to be made 279 m before reaching it but only 267 m for a reduction to 30 milelh. The track layout would be visible in the station lights at either distance but the Up Home Signal would have been passed. Mr. Vine believed that the speed of the train at the point of derailment would have exceeded S0 milelh and possibly been as high as 60 milelh.


30. I believe that the accident was entirely caused by Driver Emery allowing his train to enter the crossover at Appledore Station at a speed greatly in excess of that permitted and he must be solely to blame for the accident. Although not a particularly reliable witness, I nevertheless believe Guard Rawlings when he says the train was stopped at Becketts Level Crossing but I think he may well have been mistaken as to the length of time he was detained there. 1 also think that his judgements of speed and distance were. not always particularly sound. Nevertheless were it not for the speed restriction it is logical for Driver Emery to have accelerated between the Distant and Home signals as the line begins to climb again there and he would have had to reapply power to regain line speed once he had seen the signals Off. That he was alert and sure of his whereabouts is demonstrated by his remark to Rawlings about the Distant and Home Signals being clear and I can only assume that he momentarily forgot about the permanent speed restriction and having to negotiate the crossover; had it been daylight he would have been able to see the crossover. probably in time to avert the accident. It is therefore likely that the train was travelling at about 60 mile!h when it entered the crossover and before he could take any action the overturning train had flung Driver Emery away from the controls. The performance assessment for the train and of the material damage to it made by the Mechanical Engineers support this view. Because of the unusual formation of the train and many other factors which were not capable of precise measurement after the crash, it would not have been reasonable to have asked for a calculation of the exact overturning speed on this particular crossover; suffice it to say the design maximum speed was 23 mileih and the permitted speed 20 milelh, both of which were greatly exceeded.

31. 1do not consider the presence of Guard Rawlings in the leading cab to be a contributory factor to the accident although the Rules forbid it. He can be criticised for not taking any opportunity to improve his route knowledge and for failing to warn Driver Emery if he thought that the latter was going to exceed the permitted speed but 1 believe his remarks about speed were blessed with the wisdom of hindsight. I do not consider either that there was insufficient effort by the management to ensure that the staff were adequately briefed on the changes to the Ore to Appledore part of the line; Driver Emery had, for example, attended a day of instruction on them on the 8th September 1979, some three weeks before the changes became effective. Rawlings had had a similar opportunity but had not taken advantage of it.

32. Following the high speed derailment at Morpeth in 1969it was agreed that advanced warning boards should he placed in rear of those permanent speed restrictions which are greater than one third of the line speed and where that line speed is 75 milelh or more; these became known as the 'Morpcth' criteria. The warning boards would have an AWS permanent magnet positioned approximately 200 yards 

in rear of the board. The Hastings to Ashford line is not AWS-fitted and the maximum line speed is 60 milelh and so therefore. in spite of the speed restriction over the Appledore crossover being greater than one third of the line speed, no advanced warning board or audible reminder is given to the driver. I have examined the accident records since the advanced warning boards and AWS magnets were fitted to the above-75 milelh lines to see if any derailments attributable to the driver of a train forgetting a permanent speed restriction had occurred. I found two only. The first, which was the subject of a public inquiry. was at Eltham (Well Hall) and the second at Princes Risborough. There was already an AWS-marked permanent restriction to 60 milelh approaching Princes Risborough station from the single line but the route to the Up platform was over a crossover carrying a 25 milelh speed restriction; the driver had lost concentration after shutting off power on seeing the Up Distant Signal at Caution and failed to apply the brakes after he had passed the approach-released Up Home Signal which was fitted with a junction indicator. The circumstances therefore are not really comparable with those at Appledore and the layout was one at which, at the time of the accident, it had been agreed that the 'Morpeth' warning arrangements need not apply. In his report on the accident at Eltham' which he said was caused by the driver's impaired ability to drive safely because he had consumed a considerable quantity of alcohol, Colonel Rohertson considered that there was a need, which was quite exceptional and not to he regarded as a precedent, for the driver of a through train approaching Well Hall on the Up line (where the line speed is 60 milelh) to be given some form of early warning of the permanent speed restriction (PSR) (to 20 mileih) on the Well Hall Curve. He considered that this would be best achieved by approach releasing the signal just in rear of the beginning of the curve.

33. Colonel Robertson also reiterated his view. first expressed in his Morpeth Report', that nothing more elaborate than the cut-out signs, indicating the actual start of a PSR and the permitted speed through it. were required on slower speed lines; a driver's route knowledge. which includes the location and speed of all PSRs. being part of his normal duty and expertise as a skilled professional man. However I have considered whether there are any grounds for marking in some additional way the PSRs which result from the singling of previously double lines as had occurred at Appledore and whether this is necessary in view of the fact that drivers arc told of such a change in weekly notices and that a reminder is carried in Section D notices for three issues afterwards, each issue covering a period of X or 9 weeks. I have decided that, because only a subjective judgement is possible as to how long a temporary marking on the ground should be retained, the choice lies hetween whether a permanent marker is required or not.

34. It would seem from his remark to the guard that Driver Emery's route knowledge. including that of those items contained in the various notices, was overridden hy the message conveyed by the signals being clear. I have therefore come to the conclusion that a permanent means of overcoming such a message is desirable. 1believe that Colonel Robertson'5 solution for Eltham should remain unique as it tends to reduce the speed of trains unnecessarily early. Moreover it is only generally applicable in multiple-aspect signalling (MAS) territory where AWS is not littcd. There are however two other mcans of providing a permanent marker which could be considered at Appledore, by fitting a visual indicator to the nearest stop signal in rear of the PSR or by altering the 'Morpeth' criteria.

35. The signalling at junctions is covered by the British Railways Board's Standard Signalling Principle No. h paragraph 4.1 of which reads "Where the main aspect of the signal applies to one route only, no route indicators shall normally be provided, nor shall the signal be approach released even though there he a speed restricted turnout in the route. Where, however, there are exceptional circumstances which might mislead the driver into proceeding at a speed in excess of that permissablc e.g. at the end of a re\'ersibly signalled section of line, the routes shall he signalled as a junction turnout." I agree with the Board that the layout at Appledore is therefore one at which no junction indicator should be fitted.

36. While the 'Morpeth' criteria were being established it was asked if it was necessary to provide a warning at the end of a long single-line section before possible entry to a loop: a situation which is directly comparable to that at Appledore. Although it seemed at the time that agreement between the Board and the Railway Inspectorate had been rcached for a number of specific layouts. I have studied their discussions at length. have had further discussions with thc Board and have come to the conclusion that this agreement was defective. Subject to some further study, discussion and agreement as to the precise siting of the 'Morpeth' warning boards concerned it is now proposed that. in addition to the speed criteria. the rules for the provision of the warning arrangements should state that

.'At loops at the end of long single-line sections, if the train driver is faced with a choice of routes. any route over a speed-restricted turnout should be approach-released. If no choice of route is available and the only route lies over a speed-restricted turnout the normal 'Morpeth' warning 

arrangements shall apply and the warning board and any associated AWS permanent magnet placed in advance of the distant signal. Changes from single to double lines should be treated in the same way. Except where the entrance to a loop or to a double line arises from the singling of a previously double line. temporary approach control measures may he permitted, pending provision of the 'Morpeth' warning arrangements."

At Appledore there is no choice of routes facing the train driver and therefore the 'Morpeth' warning arrangements would be cipplied should the PSK fall to be marked under the speed criteria. At present it does not and the circumstances of this and the two previous accidents already mentioned do not in my view justify any changes to the 'Morpeth' speed criteria. However the Board arc now considering, for other reasons, extending the criteria to cover lines with speeds of between 60mileih and 75 mileih having a speed reduction of 40 milelh or greater. The PSR at Appledore would therefore now come within the category of those to be marked by the 'Morpeth' arrangements.

37. Although the Code of Practice issued by the British Railways Board of 29th July 1971 implies that an A WS permanent magnet forms part of the 'Morpeth' warning arrangements, I have accepted the Board's arguments that it is clearly inconsistent to place such a magnet in association with a 'Morpeth' board on a line which is itself not equipped with AWS. As part of the further discussions mentioned earlier I examined whether the lack of AWS at a 'Morpeth' board located in rear of a PSR such as at Appledore should be overcome by imposing approach-control measures and again I have accepted the Board's argument that such boards would then be marked differently from those at other places on the line. However we did agree that where, for some reason. the appropriate 'Morpeth' arrangements could not be provided at a PSR at a loop on a single line. approach-control measures could temporarily be instituted. Pending the outcome of my discussions with the Board this solution was adopted at Appledore. However, as will be seen from the additions to the 'Morpeth' criteria quoted in the previous paragraph. in futurethis concession will not be available at those places where the need for the 'Morpeth' arrangement5 results from the singling of a previously double line.

38. 1 recommend therefore that the Board formally adopt the additional rules for the provision of the warning arrangements set out in paragraph 36 above. I also recommend that, when the Board formally extend the speed criteria to cover lines of between 60 mileih and 75 mileih with a speed reduction of 40 mileih or more. the temporary approach-control measures adopted at Appledore be replaced as soon as possible by the agreed 'Morpeth' warning arrangements. 





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