Eastbourne Retro: Looking back at the tragic rail crash which killed five people in 1958

We’ve taken a look back at the tragic train crash which left five people dead in Eastbourne on Monday, August 25, 1958.

The accident happened at about 7.29am at Eastbourne Railway Station when the driver of a sleeper-car steam train arriving from Glasgow failed to see the home signal was set at 'danger'.

After passing this signal, the vehicle ploughed into another train – the Ore to London Bridge service – which was just about to depart from platform four.

The London Bridge service was running four minutes behind, while the Glasgow service was running six minutes ahead of time, according to a report by the Ministry of Transport. Both trains were reportedly ‘forced into the air and turned on to their sides’ upon impact.

No fatalities occured on the train from Glasgow. However, the motorman of the London Bridge train and three of its passengers were killed at the scene, while a fourth passenger died later in hospital.

A total of 40 people sustained injuries in the incident.

The Glasgow service’s driver Alfred Wembridge was tried for manslaughter at the Sussex Assizes in Lewes, and was acquitted on December 11, 1958, the report states.