Clapham Junction – 25 Years On
A train from my hometown, Basingstoke, was stopped at a signal (later found to be faulty) at Clapham Junction when a train from Poole rounded the corner and hit the Basingstoke train head on at 35 miles an hour. The driver had 6 seconds to apply the brakes, reducing the impact. It was not enough. He died instantly. A third train heading in the other direction then hit the wreckage of these two derailed trains.
Today was the 25th anniversary of the collision.
This is in memory of the people who lost their lives.
For video clips about this incident, click here.
My parents were engaged almost a year prior to this, and my Mum lived in Warwick at the time. My Dad on the other hand lived and worked in Basingstoke, commuting to Warwick on the weekends to see my Mum. My Dad could very well have been on the train that day. I thank whatever cosmic force allowed him to be elsewhere. It’s a shame the same can’t be said for the families of the 35 who died on that day.
Never forget to appreciate the people around you while you can. The man who connected the faulty signal had just one day off in his 13 years of work. One simple mistake by a hard-working man caused such a disaster.
Always remember to tell the people around you how much you care, because you never know what’s around the corner.