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Survivors return to Harrow & Wealdstone train crash horror scene to mark 60th anniversary
Survivors and relatives of those killed in the worst peace-time rail crash in the UK 60 years ago held a remembrance service at Harrow & Wealdstone Station this morning.
Approximately 150 people gathered on the platform of the station in High Street to lay wreathes and mark the anniversary of the crash at just after 8am on October 8, 1952.
The names of the 112 people killed in the disaster, which happened when three trains crashed into each other on a foggy morning after one driver missed a red signal, were read out during the service and a minute’s silence was held.
Dignitaries from Harrow Council, Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas and Borough Commander Dal Babu were among those who paid their respects, while a drama group dressed in 1950s outfits recreated the feel of the tragic day.
Just after 8am on that day, 60 years ago, a Watford to Euston train made its usual stop at Harrow & Wealdstone.
Stuart Alderman, from Watford, said: "It only took a split second for everything to change. As it stood in the station an overnight train from Perth, which had careered through three red danger stop signals south of Watford, ran into the back of the local train.
"This was a train of 500+ tonnes in weight, at full speed of more than 60 miles per hour.
"Before the carnage could be recognised a main-line train heading north from Euston to Manchester and Liverpool careered into the wreckage.
"This was a train with two locomotives and 15 carriages travelling also at 60+ miles per hour, and weighing more than 700 tonnes.
"If the original carnage was disastrous we now had a scene which could only be described as horrendous. It became England’s worst railway accident and still is."
In 2002, a memorial plaque honouring the victims was unveiled above the main entrance on the eastern side of the station and the plaques were laid next to it this morning.