Home Decades Events Moorgate Tube Crash (1975)

Moorgate Tube Crash (1975)

On 28 February 1975, a tube train rammed into the end of a dead-end tunnel at Moorgate on the London Underground, killing the driver and 41 passengers.

As rescue workers prepared for a long fight to bring all the injured out of the mangle of compressed carriages, a full-scale investigation was set up into the Moorgate tube disaster, the worst ever on the London Underground.

The key question was why the driver, Leslie Newson, aged 56, accelerated into the blind tunnel when his 8:37 am commuter train from Drayton Park should have been braking. It sped past platform nine at twice the usual speed of 15 mph and then ran out of track.

The first three of the six carriages telescoped at the end of the 80-yard tunnel after crashing through sand piles and over the buffers. Many of the dead were found beneath the first carriage. The first 15 feet had compacted down to two feet and was embedded in the end wall.

All day, teams of doctors, firemen and nurses wrestled with the wreckage, in dust and withering heat, attempting to reach those still alive. A teenage policewoman was carried out after 12 hours. One of her feet had been pinned down by the tangle of metal and had to be amputated at the scene.

One young doctor who spent hours in the tunnel said: “If there’s a hell, I’ve seen it”.