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The East Coast Main Line (ECML) is the electrified high-speed railway link between London, Yorkshire, North East England and Edinburgh.
The route forms a key artery on the eastern side of Great Britain it is broadly paralleled by the A1 trunk road. It links London, the South East and East Anglia with Yorkshire, the North East Regions and Scotland. It also carries key commuter flows for the north side of London. It is therefore important to the economic health of a number of areas of the country. It also handles cross-country, commuter and local passenger services, and carries heavy tonnages of freight traffic.
The ECML has been witness to a number of incidents resulting in death and serious injury:
Abbots Ripton, 21 January 1876 - 14 people died when the Flying Scotsman crashed during a blizzard.
Grantham, 19 August 1906 - 14 people died, unidentified cause.
Welwyn Garden City, 15 June 1935 - 13 people died and 81 injured when 2 trains collided due to a signaller's error
Connington South, 5 March 1967 - 5 people died and 18 were injured when an express train was derailed.
4 serious crashes at Morpeth on 7 May 1969, 24 June 1984, 13 November 1992 and 27 June 1994
Penmanshiel Tunnel collapse on 17 March 1979
Newcastle Central Station, 30 November 1989 - 15 people were injured when two InterCity expresses collided
Hatfield rail crash, 17 October 2000 - 4 people killed, 15 injured when an InterCity 225 derailed. The accident's aftermath had grave consequences for the privatised infrastructure company, Railtrack.
Selby rail crash, 28 February 2001
Potters Bar rail crash, 10 May 2002
Copmanthorpe rail crash, 25 September 2006