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Author Topic: Taunton sleeper train fire - 40th anniversary  (Read 1356 times)
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« on: July 06, 2018, 01:15:31 pm »

Today, 6th July 2018, marks the 40th anniversary of the fire on board an overnight sleeper from Cornwall to London. A disaster that claimed 12 lives.

The train was halted just outside Taunton station after the fire took hold in linen that had been stored next to a heater. Smoke and locked doors hampered rescue efforts, many of those who died succumbed to smoke inhalation.

Official report:

BBC Points West lunchtime news has a report on the anniversary. This will likely be on the evening news too.

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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 01:58:34 pm »

Today, 6th July 2018, marks the 40th anniversary of the fire on board an overnight sleeper from Cornwall to London. A disaster that claimed 12 lives.


BBC Points West lunchtime news has a report on the anniversary. This will likely be on the evening news too.

Thank you for posting to bring this to our attention.

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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2018, 06:24:51 pm »

Will also be on the late news tonight from BBC Spotlight in Plymouth.
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2018, 06:59:40 pm »

Very sad, I remember it well, which makes me feel very old.

A contributory cause of the disaster was the use of electric train heat, rather than steam heat.
Had the bags of linen been piled against a steam heater, no fire would have occurred since nothing can get hotter than the steam supply which is typically only slightly above 100 degrees.

If bags of linen are piled against an electric heater, then in the absence of any suitable and functioning safety device, it will het hotter and hotter until a fire is started.

IIRC after the disaster it was revealed that a number of near misses had occurred with bags of used linen arriving at the laundry scorched or partially burnt. Tragically this was only considered as being a loss of the linen, rather than as being a warning of a narrow escape from a fatal fire.

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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