At 1.45pm on 26 March 1907 an express train, approaching Gateshead at 65-70 km/hr, was derailed as a result of track buckling. Two people died and six were seriously injured.
There had been severe frost overnight followed by a still, sunny day and it was estimated that by the time the buckle had occurred the temperature had reached about 18degreesC. The expansion gaps at the ends of the 9m rails were unable to cope with this temperature rise.
The Board of Trade report delivered just two weeks after the accident considered it was 'due to abnormal temperature and conditions for the time of the year which could not be reasonably expected by the men in charge' In view of this I do hope that continuously welded rail track disturbed by the rerailing after Hatfield will all have been properly destressed by the middle of March.
JF Addyman (M), Rivendell, Porter's Headland, Pickering YO18 8AG.