Train Derailment at Forest Town

Private collection
Private collection
Private collection
Private collection

Today as there is very little evidence that there were once railway lines in the area, it is hard to imagine that the sight and sounds of trains were once very prominent in Forest Town.

Local attraction

There are still local people who recall an early morning train accident that occurred on 2nd September 1950, and not surprisingly some rushed out to see what had happened. Over the next few days until the engine and coaches were removed it would have been a spectacle of great interest. Fortunately some people took the opportunity to take these photographs – who they were is unknown but their work is acknowledged.

The train

The train involved in the incident was the 9.18am three coach passenger train travelling from Nottingham to Edwinstowe, and the accident happened when the tank engine and two leading coaches overturned down a 10foot embankment, while the rear coach remained at the top it was tilted over rather precariously. Fortunately there were only three passengers on the train and neither they nor the driver, the fireman nor the guard were injured. The all had lucky escapes.

The journey and accident

The driver had left Mansfield and worked the rising gradient without any problems, he still had the regulator open and travelled at about 20 to 25 m.p.h. down the bank towards Mansfield Colliery.

After sighting the Mansfield Colliery Down Distant Signal, he suddenly felt a nasty lurch to the left and the engine rocked violently. Realising the engine was derailed, the driver closed the regulator and applied the brake. As they went down the bank and overturned he held onto the cab and escaped without injury.

While the damaged line was repaired and re-opened to traffic the same day, the engine and the two coaches were not removed from the bottom of the embankment until Sunday 10th September.



Comments about this page

  • I don’t know if this was a common custom at the time but I have a couple of flattened pennies from my father and I have always presumed that this was how they came to be that way.

    By Mike Vessey (13/06/2021)
  • I remember this incident well, and very exciting it was to my 7 year old self at the time.
    Boys from the village used to put pennies on the track at the exact location of the accident, the object being to get a flattened penny (on the very rare occasions that one was available)!
    Hope no one got over ambitious and put anything larger on the track.

    By NoelN (11/03/2020)
  • The general position is right but the loco landed by the farmers field to the left of Cherry Pad going up to the pit, and the last coach was still partially on the bridge over the path. If you look carefully at pic 1 the hedge in the mid distance is actually crowds of people viewing the scene from the path and violet Hill is in the background. I was only five at the time but remember very well being taken to see the crash.

    By PhilG (14/03/2014)
  • Hello W Taylor, You are spot on with the location I lived on Violet Hill and the path was indeed called Cherry Pad and as kids we called the field which became overgrown ,(where the loco is lying “the Ollies” we used to sledge down the path to the Avenues it was very narrow and I still bare the scars of crashing into the concrete posts that lined cherry pad. G M Hartley

    By G M Hartley (01/01/2014)
  • The derailment was indeed adjacent to the footpath which leads from the bottom of the Avenues with fields to the left and allotments to the right, then passes under the line before reaching the public road which served Crown Farm pit. The pad was known locally as Cherry Pad.

    By W Taylor (27/05/2013)
  • Hello Sally-Ann, yes I agree it does look like the CF spoil heap. Indeed, after further inspection of the photos and a closer look at a 1950 OS map I think I’ve located the position of the incident. It appears to be between Violet Hill and the colliery. The first photo shows quite a crowd gathered on a road/path. I believe this path to be the one that cut through from the Colliery Lane, under the railway and onto Main Avenue in Forest Town. So about 500ft past Violet Hill going East. The path and its track under the railway shows on the 1970 OS map though despite remembering the pit lane I don’t recall the path under the embankment to Forest Town.

    By Berisford Jones (26/01/2012)
  • Hi there, Not sure, but the spoil heap looks like the one at Crown Farm. 🙂

    By Sally-Ann Bowen (25/01/2012)
  • The pin on the Railways Archive page is well off the mark. Also I’m not sure all the details are correct, ‘half a mile out of Mansfield station’? The 2nd photo features a spoil heap but also what appears to agricultural land. I’m having difficulty pin pointing where this could have been. Anyone?

    By Berisford Jones (27/09/2011)
  • If you go onto the website this gives more details including the official report. There was also an accident at Clipstone junction on the 12th May which is also on the web site

    By Andy Bailey (12/09/2011)
  • Thank you for the information about the Railway Archives web site.

    By Pauline Marples (12/09/2011)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *