The Staplehurst rail crash was a derailment at Staplehurst, Kent on 9 June 1865 at 3:13 pm. The South Eastern Railway Folkestone to London boat train derailed while crossing a viaduct where a length of track had been removed during engineering works, killing ten passengers and injuring 40. In the Board of Trade report it was found that a man had been placed with a red flag 554 yards (507 m) away but the regulations required him to be 1,000 yards (910 m) away and the train had insufficient time to stop.
Charles Dickens was travelling with Ellen Ternan and her mother on the train; they all survived the derailment. He tended the victims, some of whom died while he was with them. The experience affected Dickens greatly; he lost his voice for two weeks and afterwards was nervous when travelling by train, using alternative means when available. Dickens died five years to the day after the accident; his son said that he had never fully recovered.
Famous quotes containing the words rail and/or crash:
“Old man, its four flights up and for what?
Your room is hardly any bigger than your bed.
Puffing as you climb, you are a brown woodcut
stooped over the thin rail and the wornout tread.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)
“The tree the tempest with a crash of wood
Throws down in front of us is not to bar
Our passage to our journeys end for good,
But just to ask us who we think we are....”
—Robert Frost (18741963)