The Abbots Ripton rail disaster occurred on 21 January 1876 at Abbots Ripton, then in the county of Huntingdonshire, England, now in Cambridgeshire, on the Great Northern Railway main line, previously thought to be exemplary for railway safety. In the accident, the Special Scotch Express (known informally to railway workers as 'the Scotchman' although not officially the Flying Scotsman until after 1923) train from Edinburgh to London was involved in a collision, during a blizzard, with a coal train. An express travelling in the other direction then ran into the wreckage. The initial accident was caused by:

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  • The Abbots Ripton rail disaster occurred on 21 January 1876 at Abbots Ripton, then in the county of Huntingdonshire, England, now in Cambridgeshire, on the Great Northern Railway main line, previously thought to be exemplary for railway safety. In the accident, the Special Scotch Express (known informally to railway workers as 'the Scotchman' although not officially the Flying Scotsman until after 1923) train from Edinburgh to London was involved in a collision, during a blizzard, with a coal train. An express travelling in the other direction then ran into the wreckage. The initial accident was caused by: * over-reliance on signals and blockworking as allowing high-speed running even in adverse conditions * systematic signal failure in the adverse conditions of that day due to a vulnerability to accumulation of snow and ice Additional factors in the second accident were: * inadequate braking performance of the second express * failure to implement emergency procedures promptly and correctly The accident (and the subsequent inquiry into it) led to fundamental changes in British railway signalling practice. (en)
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  • The Abbots Ripton rail disaster occurred on 21 January 1876 at Abbots Ripton, then in the county of Huntingdonshire, England, now in Cambridgeshire, on the Great Northern Railway main line, previously thought to be exemplary for railway safety. In the accident, the Special Scotch Express (known informally to railway workers as 'the Scotchman' although not officially the Flying Scotsman until after 1923) train from Edinburgh to London was involved in a collision, during a blizzard, with a coal train. An express travelling in the other direction then ran into the wreckage. The initial accident was caused by: (en)
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  • Abbots Ripton rail accident (en)
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