[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
The Day Britain stopped: Full coverage
1900-1919 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Burnt out escalators at King's Cross after the blaze
The King's Cross fire killed 31 people
1980 There are about 11,500 miles of railway routes in Britain

1982 The rail network grinds to a halt as workers take part in an ASLEF-led strike in protest of the British Railways Board decision to abolish the 8 hour day - negotiated in 1919 - and bring in flexible rostering.

1985 There are about 11,000 miles of railway routes in Britain.

1987 A fire at King's Cross tube station kills 31 people. A cigarette discarded on an escalator is identified as the cause of the blaze. The recommendations of the Fennell Report are implemented in 1989 and smoking is banned on London Underground trains and stations.

1988 Three rush hour trains collide at Clapham Junction on December 12, killing 35. The Hidden inquiry recommends the installation of Automatic Train Protection System (ATPS) for the entire rail network.

ATPS involves installing computerised equipment in both trains and key points of the track to activate the train's brakes if it is travelling over 200mph or about to pass through a red signal.

The report recommends that ATPS should replace the Automatic Warning System (AWS), already in place on all trains, that activates a klaxon or light warning if the driver passes through a red light.

ATPS is tested but the 750m price tag is deemed too high by British Rail and the government which rules it out in 1994 - prior to privatisation.


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific