OTD: Moorgate Tube Accident

On 28 February 1975, the Moorgate Tube Accident occurred.

In my 2016 London trip I used Moorgate to get to Bunhill Fields and at the time spotted a plaque on the wall of the station.  

Later reading put the accident in context; and it has now been almost 4 years since I passed through Moorgate, and 45 years since the accident occurred. The plaque was unveiled on 28 February 2014 by the Lord Mayor of London, on the side of the station building, in Moor Place and there is also a memorial in the south-west corner of Finsbury Square; just north of Moorgate station. 43 people died and 74 were injured after a train failed to stop at the Northern Line’s southern terminus at Moorgate. 

Following the accident an inquiry was established and it found no equipment fault on the train, and that the dead man’s handle had no defect and attention focused on the 54 year old driver –  Motorman Leslie Newson, However nothing conclusive was found to explain his lack of action when approaching the terminus.  The report by  Lieutenant Colonel Ian McNaughton, the Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways, found that there was insufficient evidence to say if the accident was due to a deliberate act or a medical condition.

The cause of the accident was never adequately explained and it did mean rail safety was looked at once again and improvements were made to the system. The London Tube is an impressive work and one of the best things about London. It is however not infallible, but given how many use the tube it has a very impressive safety record. 

DRW © 2020. Created 15/02/2020

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