Shortly before 23.20, the 21.50 London (Victoria) to Brighton electric passenger train, formed of 12 coaches, was brought to a stand at Signal CA.4 some 506 yards north of Patcham Tunnel. At 23.22 it was struck violently in the rear by the 21.40 Victoria to Littlehampton electric passenger train, formed of 8 coaches. The driver of this train had received a single yellow (caution) aspect at signal CA.164, just over 1£½ miles in rear of Signal CA.4, but the train's speed had not been significantly reduced by the time it passed the next signal, CA.6. This signal, which should have been showing a red aspect protecting the rear of the 21.50 train, was almost certainly unlit as the 21.40 train passed it. The train continued at speed until the driver made an emergency brake application on sighting the stationary train ahead. The brake application had little time to take effect and the train was still travelling at between 45 and 50 mile/h when it ran into the back of the one in front. The collision was very destructive and I regret to report that one passenger, together with the driver of the 21.40 train and another railwayman, who was on duty but travelling as a passenger, lost their lives. One passenger was seriously hurt, 6 were taken to hospital but were allowed home after treatment: and a further 50 received minor injuries.
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