News story

Collision at King's Cross station

Investigation into a collision between a train and buffer stops at King’s Cross station, London, 17 September 2015

This news article was withdrawn on

This item has been moved to the National Archives as RAIB has published its report describing this accident. See Report 15/2016

Image showing damage to train and buffer stops at Kings Cross station
Image showing damage to train and buffer stops at Kings Cross station (image courtesy of Network Rail)

At around 12:18 hrs, the 10:55 hrs service from Cambridge collided with the buffer stops at King’s Cross station, platform 11.

The train was formed of a four-car class 317 electric multiple unit and was being driven at the time by a trainee driver under supervision. The train came into the platform at normal speed, but the brakes were not applied so as to bring the train to a stand before the collision with the buffer stop occurred. At the time of the collision, the train was travelling at around 5 mph (8 km/h). Upon contact with the buffers, the train stopped rapidly, with the buffer stop moving back a short distance.

Fourteen passengers reported injuries: of those, four were treated by the London Ambulance service and two were taken to hospital. Both were released later the same day. There was minor damage caused to the buffer stops and the outside of the train, but a number of interior fittings were dislodged during the impact and at least one passenger was struck by a detached lighting diffuser.

Our investigation will include examination of:

  • the regime for training and supervising trainee drivers
  • the design and performance of the buffer stops, and the maintenance regime applied to them
  • the consequences of the collision within the train, including the performance of the fixtures and fittings.

It will also examine any relevant management issues and consider previous relevant recommendations made by RAIB.

Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.

We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.

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Published 28 September 2015