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Memorial Service Great Heck Train Crash

Member and Ambassador Tony Thompson writes as follows.


“You may be aware that the 20th anniversary of the Great Heck (near Selby) Rail Crash is on 28th February this month. Coincidentally, it is the also the 46th, anniversary of the Moorgate Tube Disaster in February 1975).

 I attended at Great Heck and am coordinating arrangements for a live-streamed memorial service at Selby Abbey this year and attach a briefing note for circulation to the History Group and anyone else who may be interested. There are two events taking place, both live-streamed at 1000 and 1400. I am informing all other emergency services and BTP Media Relations at FHQ, and am liaising with the railway operator, Network Rail and relatives of the deceased.

 I also attach a copy of the commendation ceremony booklet from 2003 which provides further information”.


Memorial Events for the 20th Anniversary of the Great Heck Rail Crash Sunday 28th February 2021 What happened At 6.12am on Wednesday 28th February 2001, a Land Rover pulling a trailer on the westbound M62 motorway in North Yorkshire left the carriageway and ended up fouling the main southbound line. Almost immediately afterwards, the 04.45 GNER passenger train from Newcastle to London King's Cross struck the Land Rover partially derailing the driving cab. Some fifteen seconds later, the passenger train struck an oncoming freight train carrying coal. The two trains were derailed killing the coal train driver and the passenger train driver, together with eight other people on the passenger train. Eighty-six people were injured, some severely. What is taking place on 28th February 2021 The 20th anniversary of the Great Heck rail crash will be remembered with commemorative events taking place at Newcastle upon Tyne Central Railway Station, the Great Heck Memorial Garden, and in Selby Abbey. National coronavirus regulations and lockdown restrictions in England severely limit what is legally permissible, so these acts of remembrance will be live-streamed. Details on how to watch them online are given below. 10am Memorial Event 1: Newcastle and Great Heck Train operator LNER, together with Network Rail and Freightliner, is hosting an online memorial which will be live-streamed from Newcastle Central Railway Station and the memorial garden at the crash site at Great Heck. Wreaths will be laid and there will be readings, which will pause as an LNER passenger train passes Great Heck and sounds its horn as a tribute. If you would like to watch this online memorial you will need to register. Please click HERE to register. If you have any questions, please email them to 2pm Memorial Event 2: Memorial Service at Selby Abbey, North Yorkshire There will be an online memorial service live-streamed from Selby Abbey, led by Canon John Weetman, Vicar of Selby Abbey, and the Reverend Peter Hibbs. A commemorative candle will be lit for each of the ten men who lost their lives. To watch the service please click HERE. You do not have to register. If you have any questions, please email them to