POP train on the floor

On 10th January 1973 a test train heading north 'ran out of road' whilst carrying out a high speed test with the 'POP' train and Lab Coach 3 slid through the arrester bed and finished up 'on the floor'. Luckily nobody was hurt and the train sustained only minor damage.

Rumour had it that the brakes on the 'Peak' were incorrectly adjusted and the decision to apply the brakes was left until the last second but I have heard from an eyewitness that there were other factors.

Barrie May was on the train and remembers...

'The cause was the state of the track on the day because it had not been used for a considerable time prior to us starting testing that day. We had, if my memory is correct, done about 3 runs which had loosened all the rust which had built up on the track and then it started to drizzle with rain which had the effect of turning the loose rust into a slippery paste and since the main braking was from the loco it locked its wheel and we slid off the end of the track.'

I have recently been passed a number of official photographs of the unfortunate incident and the recovery.

All photos BR Official except where indicated

The incident - very lucky that it wasn't worse

185 Class 46 No:185 (later 46048) on the floor next to the A606 overbridge In a straight line Another shot of the loco showing how it managed to stay in line and get through the overbridge

Alan Rimmer

Dear oh dear Staff survey the scene Not designed to stop a class 46 View showing the path of the train through the arrestor bed
POP train (PC3 and PC4) and Lab 3 - note the ballast on top of the bogie frame No buffers between POP train and Lab 3
Between the Lab coach and POP train is what looks like a buckeye coupler ouch! Buffers over riding between Lab 3 and the loco
Close View along the side of the train looking towards the loco Half buried The intermediate bogie dug into the ballast showing the hydrokinetic brake pipework
POP train articulated bogie How bad is it? Inspecting the damage
Buried Bogies dug into the ballast Bogies dug into the ballast

Instrumentation damage - vintage stuff from 1973

Some of the damage inflicted on the instrumentation - what looks like an oscillosope on its side Probably the most important item on the train - the cooker
A teleprinter keyboard with automatic counting device on top of it Items strewn about the floor

Recovery - the train was eventually dragged back onto the track

When I nod my head.... Plenty of supervisors in evidence whilst the crane appears to be about to lift PC3 Lots of discussion
View from the A606 overbridge View from the rear showing the arrestor bed and the rearmost coach still on the track
View from the A606 overbridge with the rearmost vehicle uncoupled and moved back under the previous overbridge View from the A606 overbridge with the crane about to lift


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