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The Day Britain stopped: Full coverage
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The Flying Scotsman
The days of steam are numbered
1950 There are about 19,500 miles of railway routes in Britain.

1952 112 people are killed and 340 injured when an express train goes over a yellow signal at Harrow & Wealdstone, London, and runs into the back of a stationary train. A third train then runs into the wreckage.

An inquiry recommends that trains should be fitted with an automatic warning system to alert drivers if they pass through stop signals.

1955 The days of steam are numbered after The London British Transport Commission undertakes a railway survey and publishes "The Modernisation and Re-equipment of British Railways" report.

The survey finds that the railway services are too slow and inefficient. The government accepts the report's call for steam trains to be replaced by diesel engines and for a programme of track electrification.

ASLEF calls a strike after pay negotiations break down. Anthony Eden's Conservative Government backs down after three weeks with only 16% of the rail services running, bringing industry to a virtual standstill.

The Machinery of Negotiation process is set up to help resolve further disputes.

1957 In December two trains collide in thick fog at Lewisham, London, killing 90 and injuring 173. A bridge, under which both trains were travelling, collapses onto the wreckage.


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