Dead Stop!

Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.Starred Page By Ivyevelyn, R.S.A., 16th Jun 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>True Stories

This terrible train crash is still remembered as an unexplained tragedy.
The train driver, Leslie Newton, failed to stop at Moorgate Station and carried on past the platform, into the tunnel and smashed through a sand barrier and into a brick wall at 30mph.

Moorgate Train Crash

Date 28 February 1975
Time 8:46 am
Location Moorgate
Country England
Rail line Northern Line (Highbury Branch)
(London Underground)
Cause Unknown
Trains 1
Deaths 43+

What Happened to Driver Leslie Newson?

The 56-year-old driver, Leslie Newson, had worked for London Underground since 1969, was in good health and did not consume alcohol or drugs. Police investigation showed that he did not have any reason to be suicidal and had £300 in his pocket, which he was intending to use to buy a car for his daughter after the end of his shift.

Newson was shown to have still been holding the dead man's handle, a device that immediately applies the brakes when released. He had not put his hands up to protect his face from the impact, and some witnesses claimed that he had increased the speed of the train before impact. Some witnesses stated that Newson was sitting upright in his seat and looking straight ahead as the train passed through the station. The state of the motor control gear as found after the accident indicated that power had been applied to the motors until within two seconds of the collision.

The post mortem examination did not find any evidence of a medical problem such as a stroke or heart attack that could have incapacitated Newson; he did not seem to have consumed alcohol, although testing for this was hampered by the four-and-a-half days it took to retrieve his body from the wreckage. Dr P. A. B. Raffle, the Chief Medical Officer of London Transport, gave evidence to the inquest and the official enquiry that Newson might have been paralysed temporarily by a rare kind of brain seizure (known as "akinesis with mutism" or "transient global amnesia"). In this situation, the brain continues to function and the individual remains aware although they cannot move physically.

Sunday Times Reporter

Thirty-five years after Britain's worst Tube crash one victim's son asks, "Did a suicidal driver kill 42 innocent passengers?"
On Friday, February 28, 1975, Laurence Marks, Sunday Times Reporter, was sent to cover a terrible train crash at Moorgate Underground station, and it was only later in the day that he discovered that his 68-year-old father might be a passenger.
That evening he made repeated calls, every hour, to the emergency switchboard set up by the police for relatives of those trapped in the crash.
Every call ended with the same monotone: 'No, sorry. No Bernard Marks on our lists. No, he hasn't been admitted to any of the hospitals. If we get any news, we will call you straight away.'
At 11am the next day, a policeman informed Lawrence Marks that his father, Bernard Marks, was removed from the wreckage of the train at Moorgate station at 04.30 that morning. He was dead.

The Facts

The facts were these:;

During the busiest hour of the busiest day of the week, the Northern Line train 272 from Drayton Park to Moorgate was running late.

On this five-stop line, the train had stopped quite properly at Highbury and Islington, Essex Road and Old Street.

Now it was making the one-minute journey from Old Street to Moorgate.

Driver Leslie Newson should have approached the crossover points, leading to Platform Nine, at around 15mph, but the train was travelling at around 35mph - and it seemed to be accelerating.
Two railwaymen waiting on Platform Nine had time to recognise Leslie Newson, sitting bolt upright in his cabin. With his cap on his head, his uniform neat as ever, and his hands on the controls, he was staring straight ahead.
'He made no attempt to move as we flung ourselves against the platform wall, instinctively throwing up our arms to protect our heads,' one of the men said later.
Interviews with passengers who survived the disaster said that they, too, were greatly alarmed, with many bracing themselves for the impact they knew was only seconds away.

Train 272 rushed past the signal at the end of the platform, hit the 15-yard sand drag and shattered the hydraulic buffer. It then smashed into the 5ft thick concrete wall at the end of the tunnel.

The driver had not even raised his hands to shield his face.
Trauma: Injured passengers waited in an ambulance before being taken to hospital after the crash
On impact, the first coach doubled into a 'V' as the driver's cabin rose and buried itself in the concrete roof of the 16ft-high tunnel.

The second coach - where Reporter Marks' father was - drove itself under the end of the first, crushing it further before being crumpled itself, down into a space of barely 3ft at the front. And then the third coach hit its back and rose up over it to hit the first.
The front three coaches - 156ft of metal - were compressed in a 60ft dead- end tunnel. The three back coaches were relatively undamaged.
Forty-one people were dead. Eighty-two were injured, some very seriously. Two were to die later.

Lawrence Marks, A Victim's Son..

As a son, "I needed to know how my father had died - and whether he had suffered.
As a journalist, my brief was to discover why the accident had happened and whether it could have been avoided.

Exhaustive examinations could not give definitive answers. I

If Driver Newson was accelerating as the train traveled through Moorgate Station, then suicide must be considered. Maybe, in a moment of anguish, he recalled a tragic event in his past; buying a car for his daughter might have signified her moving on out of his life, or a sudden resurfacing of a deep regret and desperation to escape sent him and his passengers hurtling into eternity..

God rest his soul and those he took with him.


London Underground Trains, Passenger Deaths, Suicidal Drivers, Train Accidents, Train Drivers, Trains, Travel, Underground Trains

Meet the author

author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
I attended the City Literary Institute in London and have a Royal Society of Arts Diploma in English Language.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
24th Jun 2012 (#)

most interesting Ivy.who ever will really know!!!

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
24th Jun 2012 (#)

Quite a story... a case that remains 'open', as they say.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
24th Jun 2012 (#)

I wish, one day, someone would come forward with information about this case which would explain, "What happened to Leslie Newson?"

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author avatar Anthony Bright
23rd Nov 2012 (#)

You've been missing out. Google up moorgate rail crash and click on to Doug's Dark World Deconstructed. That's where all the real info about the crash is.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
24th Jun 2012 (#)

Thank you, Steve, for the star. This case has remained on my mind for years,, especially when traveling on the U.K. underground train system. I also stay way back as a train roars into the station in case a stranger moves quickly behind me and shoves me onto the rails!

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author avatar xphantoms
24th Jun 2012 (#)

Great, like topic

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author avatar Val Mills
24th Jun 2012 (#)

This must have also been traumatic for those watching. It seems as if it would be impossible to discover what happened now.

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author avatar Retired
25th Jun 2012 (#)

This was very interesting. Thanks for the article.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
25th Jun 2012 (#)

a very haunting crime...chilling in both nature and history...

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
25th Jun 2012 (#)

One of the mysteries tough to unravel. No sane person would be so senseless. Thanks for the share, Ivy - siva

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
26th Jun 2012 (#)

I usually stay back from the Yellow lines as they are the deadly ones that proves the velocity and force.
Once you get to the other side of the Yellow line an oncoming train will automatically suck you in and when that happens nothing much can be done, it breaks into half. But if you are on the other side of the line you feel the heat you get the beat and then finally provide the rescue mission to help save the ones who have been hurt in all this.
Its when the rescue mission is tired does the next rescue party slip in to clean up the mess, not take over responsibility. By taking over responsibility, you become liable for things that are not related to you. So prefer to be the caretaker from the distance until time comes to reveal the real game.
It may have been orchestrated by an insider who knew the systems well but forgetting by doing that he made the driver pay the price for it.
So it meant that the Driver was already dead on the controls and there is an emergency step in that takes place when the security monitoring agent notices something is wrong and handles control. This means the computer devices within the Control room not the train were bad wherein they accelerated rather than apply brakes that caused the crash and the dead driver took the blame.
All Underground train systems and airline system, computer systems are handled by servers and external controls. These are the systems that kick in and take control when things in the driver seat are going wrong but when their systems are faulty the Driver has to work with them to reveal where the main fault lies, but if the Driver is dead, they take the secrets back to the grave with them. Only they can reveal who and what they really with all sharpness. The train company would show where the fault lay, the computer system would show where the fault lay, the external controls are programmed accordingly so if the programming is faulty and cross wired, accidents take place.
This driver never had a chance, he was already dead. So all they could reveal was he had some kind of bodily malfunction and get it over and done with to the world while the internal systems proved the real cause which were never made public except to the main family.
That is the only way a man who is perfectly healthy would stand stiff without expression on impact. The bystander revealed it to you, he was dead and stiff which was why he was expressionless. Its when they forgot the controls the mess was revealed openly causing chaos, mayhem which are now being investigated in detail.
They are called Cold Cases that come alive to be be solved.
Its not revealed openly but UK is one of the most highly monitored countries in the world wherein one street could have over 800 cameras.
We are all actors and actresses in constant monitoring and you will see the pattern if it is a common recurrence.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
26th Jun 2012 (#)

I didn't know that, may be overseen. Thank you Ivy for sharing this accident. It's always terrible to hear this!

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author avatar Retired
26th Jun 2012 (#)

Interesting and well researched. Good star page, dear Ivy.

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author avatar Anthony Bright
23rd Nov 2012 (#)

Google Moorgate Rail Crash and click onto Doug's Darkworld Deconstructed for the causes of the collision.

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author avatar Sir djmac
13th Apr 2014 (#)

39 years ago, & we still wait for the truth, shame on our transport system, they should be heavily prosecuted/hung.

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