The 22nd May this year marks the centenary of the UK’s worst rail accident, at Quintinshill in 1915. This crash, near Gretna in Scotland claimed the lives of 224 people and injured a further 246. Of these, 216 of the dead and 205 of the injured were members of the 7th (Leith) Battalion The Royal Scots on their way to Gallipoli.
The Board of Inquiry found that the railway staff had made critical errors, the main one being that the signaller had forgotten a train left standing on the main line. The express troop train was then routed along the same line and collided with it at speed. The wreckage was then struck by another train passing in the opposite direction. Many of the causal factors reported by the Board of Inquiry are now recognised ‘human factors’ that are common to many accidents. These included fatigue, distraction, irregular handover between shifts and not following written rules.
You can find out more about the disaster on Wikipedia. There is also a Facebook group commemorating those who lost their lives.
There's a BBC documentary about the disaster airing on BBC2 Scotland on Wednesday 20th May at 9pm.