New plaque to recall train crash disaster

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The 85th anniversary of Hull’s worst ever railway accident is being marked tomorrow by the unveiling of a new plaque.

The accident – which left 12 dead and 24 seriously injured – happened immediately behind the site of the current Hull Royal Infirmary on Valentine’s Day 1927 at 9.10am when the incoming 08:22 from Withernsea to Hull collided head-on with the 09:05 from Hull to Scarborough.

A plaque which marked the disaster was stolen some years ago.

Chief Executive Phil Morley will say a few words at the unveiling at 1pm tomorrow.

Staff from what was then known as the the Hull Institution Hospital were first on the scene, knocking down the wall to get onto the tracks to the casualties.

Shortly after hearing the loud noise of the impact, Sisters and Doctors arrived from the Victoria Hospital for Sick Children (Park Street), also close to the railway line.

They were later joined by members of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade and staff from the Hull Royal Infirmary then situated in the city centre.

Mike Pearson, the Trust’s Archivist, said: “We are really pleased to be able to mark this tragic event with a new plaque, after the previous one was stolen, and we are grateful to Phil Morley for his support in this.

“This was a terrible incident in Hull’s history and it deserves to be remembered.

“The driver of the Scarborough train, realising he was on the wrong line, had brought his own train almost to a standstill. However the Withernsea train driver, with his view obscured by the Argyle Street Bridge and still travelling at about 15 mph, could not avoid the catastrophe that ensued. “This train had been carrying most of the casualties including several school children.”

A subsequent inquiry set up to investigate the disaster concluded that human error had caused the two trains to be on the same stretch of the railway line.