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Details of the Accident

Place Primrose Hill Tunnel
Date 20th May 1937, p.m.
Railway Company London Midland & Scottish Railway
No. of Fatalities 2
Cause of Accident Boiler blowback
Description On the 1.15 p.m. Liverpool-Euston express, a collapsed smokebox deflector plate in the Princess class engine caused a blowback that turned the footplate into a furnace. The incident occurred as the crew were nearing the end of their journey at Primrose Hill tunnel on the approach to Euston. Driver and fireman stayed at their controls and brought the train safely to a stand outside the tunnel. Unfortunately the crewmen were so extensively burnt that they both died in hospital.

Sources/Further Reading

  • Derail, Nicholas Faith (1998)
  • Memorial plaque on platform 1 at Liverpool Lime Street (moved from Edge Hill 1986)
  • Shed Side on Merseyside: The Last Days of Steam, Kenn Pearce (2011)
  • Steam World magazine, June 1996 (Letter and photo of memorial)

List of Fatalities

The 2 fatalities are listed in the table below together with brief notes of any other information found so far.

The last column shows the General Register Office (England and Wales) or Statutory Register (Scotland) reference where this has been identified.

Surname First Names Age Occupation Residence Notes GRO/SR Reference
BALL Joseph 60 Train driver , Based Edge Hill, Liverpool. Died of injuries. 1937/Jun Willesden 3a 370
HIGGINS Cormack 37 Train fireman , Based Edge Hill, Liverpool. Died of injuries. 1937/Jun Willesden 3a 370