Main content
This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Britain's Deadliest Rail Disaster: Quintinshill

Neil Oliver investigates Britain's deadliest rail disaster at Quintinshill near Gretna Green. Two men were jailed, but was there a cover-up to protect others from being blamed?

On 22 May 1915, a collision at the Quintinshill signal box, near Gretna, became Britain's deadliest ever rail crash. Involving a military train filled with troops - most of whom were from Leith - heading for Gallipoli and two passenger trains, the crash claimed an estimated 226 lives and left hundreds more injured.

The duty signalmen, George Meakin and James Tinsley, were found responsible for the disaster and were both jailed on the charges of culpable homicide.

Neil Oliver explores the series of mistakes that may have caused the collision, the part played by the train companies and the government, and determines whether the investigation would have come to the same conclusions if it were carried out today. Dramatised reconstructions add to this compelling account of a tragedy which had a profound effect on several communities in Scotland, and remains the deadliest in the annals of Britain's railways.

Britain's Deadliest Rail Disaster: Quintinshill is a Finestripe Productions programme for BBC Scotland.

1 hour

Last on

Thu 13 Sep 2018 00:00


Role Contributor
Presenter Neil Oliver
Production Company Finestripe Productions
Executive Producer Katie Lander
Producer Ian Lilley
Director Ian Lilley
Actor Mat Urey
Actor Steve Pearson
Actor Lorne MacFadyen
Actor Alasdair Hankinson
Participant Archie Tassell
Participant Robert Watson
Participant Simon Cummins
Participant Anson Jack
Participant David Howell
Participant Adrian Searle
Participant Adrian Quine
Participant Lindsay Farmer
Participant James Chalmers
Participant Juliet Gardiner
Participant Richard Roberts


How did Britain's deadliest rail disaster happen?

How did Britain's deadliest rail disaster happen?

Adrian Searle explores the tragedy and its aftermath