Accident Reports - 156 Super-Sprinter

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52489 at Springburn. Copyright  2003 : Ross Aitken This page has details of serious accidents involving the class.

Vehicle 52489 is seen inside Railcare's Springburn Works, Glasgow, while undergoing repairs on 15th May 1999.

It had been struck by a freight train on the Settle & Carlisle route in January that year.

Photo: Ross Aitken



May, 8 1989 Bradford Interchange station 156.491
Sprinter 156.491 was barely three weeks old when it suffered severe front end damage after striking the concrete buffers at Bradford Interchange station while arriving with the 21:30 Manchester Victoria - York service.


November 6, 1989 Huddersfield 156.476
A Head on collision between two passenger trains at Huddersfield just before 22.00 on 6 November injured 33 people, three of them seriously.

Railbus 141.104 working a late running 21:26 service to Wakefield Westgate ran into the 19:25 Scarborough - Liverpool service, formed by sprinter 156.476, on the eastern approach to the station.

The class 141 was withdrawn as a result of the collison, 156.476 returned to traffic in March the following year after repairs at BRML Doncaster and transfer to Haymarket.


May 20, 1990 Summit Tunnel, Greater Manchester 156.448
This incident occurred on a Sunday morning around 08:00 and involved the 07:35 Manchester Victoria - Scarborough train formed by 156.448.

It is understood that the train entered a section of track on which there was a complete engineer's possession, and collided with an engineer's trolley inside the tunnel.

Extensive damage was caused to both vehicles of the unit, but fortunately there were no injuries to passengers.


July 30, 1990 Haltwhistle 156.435
156.435 received bodyside damage when it collided with a tractor on a level crossing near Haltwhistle, whilst working 15:54 Glasgow Central - Newcastle.


April 10, 1991 Craigendoran 156.456
Seven passengers required hospital treatment for minor injuries after the 18:22 Mallaig / 20:32 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street Sprinter service collided with a freight train shortly after 22:50.

The leading vehicle of unit 156.456, car 52456 was badly damaged, as was the freight locomotive 37.405.

vehicle 57456 returned to traffic in August as centre car in unit 156.436.


February 19, 1992 Dimmocks Cote, Cambridgeshire 156.403

45 passengers and the driver of a Sprinter service required hospital attention after their train hit a lorry on Dimmocks Cote level crossing, 4 miles south of Ely.

The collision occurred just after 09:38 as the 156.403 forming the 08:48 Stansted Airport to Liverpool Lime Street was crossing the A1123 road between Soham and Stretham.

The leading vehicle 57403 was completely derailed and dropped down a 15 foot embankment before coming to rest in a field.

Repairs to 57403 were undertaken at BRML Doncaster and completed in November.


May 22, 1992 Holbeck East Junction, Leeds 156.498

25 passengers were injured, when the 20:30 from London Kings Cross hauled by 91.019 was involed in a low speed collision with the late running 22:00 Leeds to Sheffield formed by 156.498.

Both locomotive and Sprinter were taken to BRML Doncaster for repair. Neville Hill formed a set from 52498 and 52403 in August.


November 11, 1993 Leeds City Station 156.483

5 passengers were reported as requiring medical treatment, after the 06:17 Leeds to Blackpool service collided with the 19.10 postal from Penzance, hauled by 47.562, at a crossing just outside the station.

Sprinter 156.483 was badly damaged and could not be removed from the site until 13 November. The damage sustained by car 52483 was such that there was a twist of 40mm on axis for its full length, and 25% of the vehicle had to be rebuilt. The unit was repaired at ABB Derby.


January 31, 1995 Mallerstang, Cumbria 156.468/490
The conductor on the 16:26 Carlisle - Leeds service was killed when his train was struck by the 17:45 Carlisle-Leeds service at Mallerstang, four miles south of Kirkby Stephen. Thirty people were injured, six seriously.

The 16:26 service formed by 156.490 had reversed at Blea Moor due to flooding, and was returning north when a landslip derailed it foul of the up line.

The 17:45 service had already departed from Kirkby Stephen and rounded a bend at 60mph with no chance of avoiding the collision.

The conductor lost his life when he returned to the front of the train to check that all the passengers had moved to the rear for their own safety.

The vehicles which were repaired first 57468 and 57490 were paired together until July 1996 and used on the Doncaster - Adwick service where lack of toilet facilities was not a problem.


May 25, 1996 New Pudsey, West Yorkshire 156.473
The 11.57 Scarborough - Blackpool North service formed by 156473, struck at nearly 60mph a JCB digger that had rolled onto the line from an adjacent builder's yard.

One passenger suffered a broken arm and 28 required medical attention from minor injuries.

The undamaged vehicle 57473 was paired with 57490 for use on the Doncaster - Adwick shuttle.


October 28, 1996 Heald Green 156.460
156.460 was damaged at Heald Green when it derailed and struck an overhead line mast.

This led to closure of the Manchester Airport line for two days while repairs were carried out.


July 22, 1997 Dingwall 156.446
The 15:20 Kyle of Lochalsh - Inverness service was struck by a lorry at Dingwall Middle level Crossing.

Vehicle 57446 sustained damage to the bodyside.


March 25, 1998 Swineshead Bridge, Lincolnshire 156.406
Central Trains 14:24 Skegness to Crewe service collided with a lorry at Swineshead Level crossing on the A17 road.


January 15, 1999 Crosby Garret, Cumbria 156.489
The 17:12 Huddersfield to Carlisle Northern Spirit service, formed by 156.489, hit a landslip a few yards south of Crosby Garrett tunnel, coming to a stand just out side the northern portal.

A Southbound coal train headed by locomotive 60017 was approaching, and despite braking hard, collided with the derailed Sprinter pushing it backwards into the tunnel.

Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, the passengers having been moved to the rear coach.

BBC news story


July 29, 1999 Gorsey Lane crossing, Nottinghamshire 156.407
Central Train's 13:19 Lincoln - Birmingham New Steet service struck a combine harvester on the Gorsey Lane farm crossing between Fiskerton and Bleasby.

The glancing blow collision caused side damage to leading vehicle 52407, three windows being smashed. There were no serious injuries.

Vehicle 57407 was repaired first and given a repaint into Central Trains green livery. From September it was paired with class 158 vehicle 52785, also repainted.

When the other half of 158.785 had returned to traffic, 57407 was paired with with class 153 single-car 57365, until January 2000 when vehicle 52407 was ready.


September 14, 1999 Bucksburn 156.457
Vandals left a digger on the Line at Bucksburn, just north of Aberdeen on September 14th which was struck by 156.457 forming the 18:18 Aberdeen - Inverness service.

The train driver suffered a broken wrist after applying the emergency brake seconds before the impact. Four passengers were slightly hurt.

BBC news story


October 10, 2000 Craig, Dumfries & Galloway 156.478
Whilst working a Newcastle - Stranraer ScotRail service, both vehicles of 156.478 derailed after encountering a section of distorted track where the embankment had been washed-away, at Craig, 8 miles from of Stranraer.

One vehicle remained upright but the rear vehicle ended up on its side, resting against a tree, having gone down the embankment. The two members of traincrew and 24 passengers suffered shock or minor injuries.

BBC news story


February 28, 2002 Nocton, Lincolnshire 156.409
A van crashed through a wall and down the railway embankment into the path of 156.409 forming the 15:42 Central Trains service from Birmingham New Street to Sleaford via Lincoln.

The van driver was killed in the incident. Around 30 of the 50 passengers were described as "walking wounded" - 12 of needed hospital treatment.

Vehicle 57409 returned to traffic paired with class 153 car 57356 whilst vehicle 52409 was rebuilt at Bombardier's Crewe Works. This was complete in June 2003.

BBC news story


September 26, 2003 Wainfleet, Lincolnshire 156.402

Two people were seriously injured when their van was hit by a train at an open level crossing in Wainfleet, near Skegness.

The mercedes van was struck on Matt Pit Lane crossing by 156.402 forming the 07:45 Central Trains service from Blythe Bridge to Skegness.

The train derailed but stayed upright and none of those on board were injured.

BBC news story


January 17, 2004 Matlock Bath, Derbyshire 156.410

The 16:41 Matlock to Derby 'Central Trains' service formed of 156410 derailed at Willersley Tunnel.

The train had just departed Matlock Bath and was travelling about 35mph when it hit a large boulder on the track. The leading carriage derailed, striking the tunnel mouth, before the train came to a stand just inside the tunnel.

There were no reported injuries. Vehicle 52410 sustained damage at the cab end. After re-railing the train was moved to Rowsley (Peak Rail), before being taken away by road.