Railway Accident at Cowden: A Report of the Inquiry into the Collision between two Passenger Trains which occurred at Cowden on 15 October 31st Oct . Both Mr Brett-Andrews and the train’s driver, Mr Brian Barton, 31, died in the accident at Cowden in October along with the driver of the. Cowden rail crash The Cowden rail crash occurred on 15 October , around yards southeast of Cowden Station in the English county.

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Cowden Station and Markbeech Tunnel

Subscribe to the Facebook or Twitter links: This line opened to passengers on 1 October However in those days all services were directed towards Tunbridge Wells and it was not until 7 June that direct services travelled south from Ashurst towards Uckfield. Click here to return to the main website index page. North of Cowden Station the line passes through Markbeech Tunnel which is yards long.

This view shows the southern portal of the tunnel. Note the white patch on the wall which was provided to assist in the sighting of the up Outer Home signal, long since removed. A second view of the southern portal of Markbeech Tunnel.

Cowden rail crash – Wikipedia

Radio antennas for the Cab Secure Radio system can be seen attached to the roof of the tunnel. A closer view of the radio aerials that help to keep trains safe on this section of the line.

One aerial points south and another north, sending a signal into the tunnel. Codwen Cab Secure Radio system allows drivers to contact the signalman at Oxted. CSR was installed after the rail accident at Cowden.

A public footpath runs across the top of the tunnel portal, allowing this unusual view of the rear of the arch and providing a viewpoint from which to look south to Cowden Station. Looking south to Cowden from the portal of Markbeech Tunnel. The area on the left was the route of the former double track and part of the former goods yard.

crsh Two sidings ran north towards the tunnel. After a period when this area was totally derelict, ballast has recently been laid and flattened to such a high standard that one might almost think that track was to be ccowden. This shot looks south from Markbeech Tunnel to Cowden Station with a longer lens.

The cowde line curves into the one operational platform. On the left is the site of the former goods yard, which included a goods shed now demolished. The goods facilities closed in and the area is now used to store permanent way materials to maintain the line.

Cowden station sign in Southern colours. The station is actually over a mile from the village of Cowden and closer to Markbeech. The forecourt of Cowden station looking north. The station house is a private residence. The gates to the former goods yard can be seen on the right of the picture. A second view of the forecourt at Cowden station, looking north, taken two years later.


This is a quiet rural cowdn some distance from Cowden village and it attracts few customers. Cowden station forecourt looking south. Looking north from Cowden station towards the southern portal of Markbeech Tunnel. It can be seen that in the goods yard area was very overgrown.

A second view of the southern portal of Markbeech Tunnel taken from the abandoned northbound platform at Cowden station. A signal box used to stand at the northern end of the northbound platform, giving the signalman a view of the cowdfn yard. The same view as in the previous picture almost five years later. The adjacent trees have been cut back. The former goods yard is on the right. Taken with a long lens from Cowden station this view shows the southern portal of Markbeech tunnel more clearly.

At the time some large trees were growing above the arch of the tunnel, with the consequent risk of damage, but these have since been felled. Cowden Station looking south in The station was then very neglected and overgrown. On the right the abandoned northbound platform can be seen covered in shrubs and undergrowth. An old access to this platform led to an adjacent public footpath, and, at the time, was still open. It was therefore crahs to stand on the abandoned platform.

This view, taken from the public footpath that runs parallel to the station on the west side shows the route of the old path to the abandoned northbound platform highlighted in red.

Rrail path has now almost disappeared in the undergrowth. The yellow arrow shows the station building above, on the southbound platform. In the early years of the station, when it was operating with two platforms, this path would have provided a quicker route to Markbeech village and Cowden Pound.

The view south at Cowden Station in The station signs have changed to Southern colours, the platform has been improved with a tactile strip, and the undergrowth has been cleared from the abandoned northbound platform.

A new chain link fence now prevents use of the former access to that platform. A second view south, showing the abandoned northbound platform more clearly. The platform side of Cowden station building, looking south.

A one time both platforms had a canopy, and a footbridge linked the platforms. Approximately the same view south of Cowden station building taken in At the time access to the northbound platform was still possible, and it had been cleared of undergrowth.

The gate to the platform can just be seen adjacent to the two abandoned lamp standards on the right. A closer view of the platform side of the Cowden station building two years later. When the signal box closed as an economy measure a lever frame to work the points and signals was installed on the platform. The different coloured bricks under the platform edge indicate where the cables used to emerge from under the platform. Cowden Station features a seat for passengers with very short legs.


It is hard to see why anyone would install a seat so close to the ground! In the station had probably the most unnecessary sign on the network. Looking at the state of the overgrown northbound platform it is hard to see how anyone could think that it was in use. Perhaps Cowden was thought to have particularly stupid passengers? The sign still existed inand is seen in this view south. Thankfully Southern appear to have more faith in their passengers and it has subsequently been taken down!

Cowden station looking north from the southern end of the abandoned northbound platform.

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A closer view of the Cowden station building, looking north. Approximately the same view as the previous picture two years later.

The station house is nearest the camera, and is now a private residence.

A memorial to those lost in the Cowden rail accident has been erected in recent years. This small plaque is on the wall of the station building at the southern end of the station. Presumably for reasons of passenger sensitivity the wording does not refer directly to the accident, but the message is nevertheless entirely appropriate. Cowden crassh looking north from the operational platform.

Moving the camera slightly left gives a better view of the abandoned northbound platform. It is now tidy, but it is crxsh to see the need for the salt bin. A small flower bed at the southern end of the platform is marked by the station name in concrete. Looking south towards Ashurst from the southern clwden of Cowden station.

Looking south from the abandoned northbound platform. Approximately metres south of the station two trains collided head-on in the single line section in fog at Five people lost their lives. A Turbostar coowden makes it’s way towards Ashurst along the embankment south of Cowden. There remain some tiny indications of the Cowden accident site but I have elected not to include them in this collection. A public footpath runs south from Cowden parallel to the line, and passes under the line through this old cattle creep, originally provided to allow animals raip the line.

This view looks west. A second view of the cattle creep looking east. This arch is typical of many on the line. Walkers are warned that parts of this area can be very muddy.

Incident Cowden

Looking north towards Cowden station from the first overbridge south of the station Moat Lane Bridge. Looking south towards Ashurst from the same bridge. Looking north towards Cowden from the second overbridge south of Cowden Marchants Bridge.

Subsequently a junction was created south of Hurst Green then a simple railway halt taking a maximum of two carriages. On 15 October a serious railway accident took place just south of Cowden Station.