Southall Rail Accident Inquiry

Inquiry into the cause of a major rail accident which occurred on 19th September 1997, 9 miles west of Paddington, the first major accident to occur within the British rail network since privatisation of the railway industry.

Terms of Reference:

The purpose of the Inquiry is to determine why the accident happened, and in particular to ascertain the cause or causes, to identify any lessons which have relevance for those with responsibilities for securing railway safety and to make recommendations.


John Uff QC

Panel Members:

Major Anthony King (Technical Assessor)



19th September 1997

Hearings: 20th September- 25th November 1999, closing submissions on 20th December 1999 (formally opened on 24th February 1998; the proceedings were then delayed by the prosecution of the train driver and operating company)

Report: 31st January 2000

Link to download report:

Summary of reports conclusions:

Recommendations made as to driver training, operating rules, fault reporting, fleet maintenance, infrastructure maintenance, regulation, vehicle design, research and development, automatic train protection, general safety issues, accident investigations and inquiries and post-accident procedures.