Billingham Old Station, train crash of December 1953

t13764Stockton’s WD No. 90048 has come a cropper on the dumb end behind the down side platform ramp. She was on the down independent, but her driver misread the signal, thinking he was on the down main. The mishap resulted in the 90048 going to North Road Works, Darlington.

Photograph courtesy of Martin Birtle.

5 thoughts on “Billingham Old Station, train crash of December 1953

  1. Do any of you railway enthusiasts remember a derailment here some time in the seventies between 1973 – 77, I distinctly remember seeing a class 37 and oil tankers strewn (but still upright) across the tracks but I cannot remember the exact year?


  2. Error in my previous post the date was actually 2/12/53. The cause was ascribed to driver error by the driver of 90048 due to inadequate route knowledge; ie his belief that he was travelling on the down main instead of the down independent line.


  3. December 4th,1953 around 4.00a.m. and a foggy morning, which perhaps contributed to the crash. 90048 was on a York -West Hartlepool freight with a York driver who, as stated, mistakenly thought he was running on the down main instead of the down relief line and ran into the buffers at the down platform end. The wreckage was then run into by a fast freight from York to Tyneside headed by V2 locomotive 60891 with a Gateshead engine crew. It was a good job a passenger train was not involved as there would almost certainly have been fatalities.


  4. So glad you submitted this, Martin. As I recall, the crash occurred sometime after midnight, and my father told me he had heard a huge noise overnight. My parents’ bedroom faced south; mine faced north, and I slept through it. We lived a mile or more away, on Roseberry Road, so the impact must have been intense. I only ever saw the wreckage from either the station yard, or the Davis Bridge end, so your angle from the adjacent fields is illuminating.


    • You are right Malcolm. I’d only seen pictures of the crash scene from other angles and when this picture came into my possession I thought it might be of interest to railway buffs of a certain vintage.


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