'Accident at Staplehurst, on the South-Eastern Railway', July 1865.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving from the Illustrated London News after a sketch made on 18 July, 1865, the day after the accident. The South Eastern Railway's fast 'tidal' train from Folkestone, carrying 110 pasengers returning from Paris via Boulogne, derailed on the bridge over the River Beult near Staplehurst. Platelayers had not finished laying replacement track before the train arrived; the train fell 15 feet into the muddy rivulet below, killing 10 pasengers and injuring 49 others. Amongst the survivors was the author Charles Dickens, who was travelling in the only carriage to remain on the rails.