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Great Train Disaster of 1906

The great train disaster of 1906 occurred in the early morning of Sunday July 1st when an express train from Plymouth to Waterloo left the line as it careered through Salisbury station at high speed.

The engine left the rails just outside the station and crashed into the last coach of a milk train coming in the opposite direction. Sadly 28 people died and 10 were badly injured as a result. Only 1 local man died coming from Ashley Road in the city Charles Chick was the fireman on a stationary engine hit by the express when it left the track. Nearly all of the victims were American who had travelled to England on the SS New York. The train ran from Plymouth to London in 4 hours 20 minutes with just 1 stop which was an incredibly fast time. The effects were felt over the Atlantic as the US President; Theodore Roosevelt sent a message of sympathy. In the wake of the disaster a memorial service was held at St Pauls, while questions were asked in parliament and a board of trade inquiry was established to find the cause.   


Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre
Image Caption: 
Salisbury Train Disaster
Asset Author: 
Becky Rousell