The Great Eastern Railway disaster at Thorpe near Norwich, 1874.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving from the cover of the 'Illustrated London News', (Vol 65, 19 September, 1874), entitled 'Extracting the Dead and Wounded'. One of the worst head-on collisions in British railway history occurred on 10 September 1874, between Norwich Thorpe and Brundall stations, when two trains were mistakenly dispatched from either end of the single line, killing 25 people and injuring 75. Although the accident was caused by human error, the Board of Trade criticised the laxity of the system which permitted such an error to occur.